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Rnnk . D ^/ 

HISTORY ^^^ - 








VOL. I. 





According to Act of Congress, in the year 1839, 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of 







Dutch claims — Discovery of America and New Netlierland — Verrazznno 
— Canada — Indians ol" New Netlierland — Gallatin — America Antiquities, - - 


Discovery ofManliattoes — Henry Hudson — Commencement of New Netlier- 
land — Christianse and Block, 30 


Colonization of New England — Intimate connection with the Dutch of New 
York — Massachusetts — Permanent settlement of New Netherland — Silas 
Wood — Lonj; Island — The Patroons — Peter Miuuits — Van Twiller — The 
Swedes — Gustavus Adolphus, 42 


Tendency which the ignorant have in all ages to worship idols of their own 
making — Universality of Negro Slavery in the heginning of the seveji- 
teentli century — Superiority of I'^astern Colonists- Ahsnrditv of ;t com- 
niunityof property in mix(Ml societies — The population of New Ainsterdani 
— State of society under Sir William Kieft — Various encroachments upon 
his jurisdiction — Canadian afiairs — Foundation of theemnity borne by tlie 
Iroquois to the French, -----55 


Fort Amsterdam — Long Island — Hartford — Struggle of Sir William Kieft; 
— With New England — with the Inrliaiis — De Vries — Rog^r Williams — 
Canadian aflairs — Previous History of Captain Underhill — Troubles and 
unhappy end of Director-general Kieft, 65 


Swedes on the Delaware — Miuuits — Printz — The Stuarts — Colonization 
of New England --Doctor Vanderdonk -Peter Stuyvesant — Controversy 
with the commissioners of the United New England Colonies — Charges 
against Stuyvesant as conspiring with the Indians to cut oft' the English, 
denied and refuted, - 86 



Connerticn-, is confined witliin limits l)y tlie Duke of York— Conduct, of 
Nicolls— Discontent of the towns— Francis Lovelace, governour— Conti- 
nuation of the History of the Iroquois till 1671— The Rev. Mr. James— 
The Lutheran Church in New York, ^^° 


Holland re-coiifiuers New Amsterdam— The fort— Garrison commanded by 
Captain Manning— New Orange— Anthony Colve— Again restored to 
the English, and Andros appointed as the Duke of York's governour— 
Town meetings on Long Island, and application for a representative 
assembly denied by James— New Jersey, 



Governour Dongan— The first representative assembly— Charter of Liber- 
ties-Canadian atfairs-Fort Frontignac— French Missionaries, Priests, 
and Jesuits among the Iroquois— Dongan counteracts the views of James 
—The o-overnours of Virginia and New York meet the Iroquois at Albany 
-They profess to be, and are, independent: the interpreter represents 
them as otherwise— Expedition of M. Barre against the Iroquois- His 
aistress-He is reproved by an Indian— Dongan protests against a French 
fort at Niagara— De Nonville's expedition— Dongan recalled, - - - - l->^ 


The bigotry of James— Favours the French views, religions and political- 
Doctrines of Rome in opposition to self-goverinnent-Succe^ss of James 
in introducing these doctrines-Alarm and rPS'stance in England : in 
New York-Jacob Leisler raises the standard of William Ill-Opposition 
made by the officers of James- Convention of Albany-Bayard- Van 
Cortlandt-PhiUipse-Schuyler-Letter from England, authorizmg the 
present ruler to govern till further orders-Leisler, Lieutenant-governour 
—Robert Uvingston— Leisler's proceedings— Bayard s petition, - - - - 14» 


Hostilities in America, notwithstanding the peace declared •" J^nro,,e-- 
Atlairs of Canada— Destruction of Schenectady, January, IbOO -Other 
French and Indian wars-Tlie open opposition to Leisler put down— 
Leisler and the governour of Comiecticut plan an expedition against Ca- 
nada, which fails— Causes— William Phipps, 



Great discontent in New York and Connecticut-Arrival of Captain In- 
goldsby.with troops-He joins the party of Bayard, Van Cortlandt, 
Livingston, etc.-His claims properly denied by Lei.sler-H.s outrageous 
proceedings- Sloughter arrives-Leisler is seized, and after a mock trial, ^ ^^ 
is executed, with his son-in-law, 


Retrospect-Firstasseml>hMinderSloughter'sgovernment-Canadian affairs 
-Hloughter's ,leath-lngol.l,sby, governour, pro u.m---Schuyler attacks 
the French, at La Prairie-Indian wars-Richard De l'<'.v^'"--f^^letcl|er 
COvernour-C.M.tinMs tlio aristocratick council -Caleb Heathcote-His 
family- His mode of euloicing r-,Migious exercises on Long Island- 
Fletcher is guided by Peter Schuyler- Count Frontignac— Wars with 
the Iroquois— Great expedition against them, 




Pirary --Lord Bellamont, governour — Robert Livingston — William K'uld 
completes his crew at New York — Turns pirate — Rfturns to America 
and is secured by Bellamont — Treasure — Bellamont at the head of the 
democracy — His coiiHcil, at the time of his arrival — Progress of the city 
— New City Hall, in Wall street — French plans of eonrpiest in America 
-Bellamont claims the Iroquois as subjects to Kngland and New York — 
Canadian aftairs — Death of Bellamont, 229 


Continuation of Kidd's affairs — Persecution of Robert Livingston — Rever- 
sal of the attainder of Jacob Leisler, and restoration of property to the 
family — Lord Cornbury's family and character — Bayard's trial and con- 
demnation — Reprieve — Relief by the arrival of Cornbury, and reversal 
of the judgment against him — Nanfan, and the assembly of 1702, - - - 245 


Colonial government — Cornbury relieves Bayard, and avows himself 
leader of the aristocracy- -Yellow fever of ]70"i — Cornbury a zealous 
Episcopalian — Affairs of the Iroquois and Canada- -Peter Schuyler's 
efforts- -Queen Anne appoints Cornbury to the government of New Jer- 
sey, with New York — His instructions to promote religion, and the in- 
crease of African slavery — English navigation act — Cornbury unites both 
parties in a detestation of himself — He is superseded, and thrown into 
jail by his creditors — Becomes Earl of Clarendon, and a peer of Great 
Britain — Lovelace, governour — His death, 253 


Preparations for subduing Canada — Alacrity of New York — The Iroquois 
join — Troops halt at VVood Creek — English armament goes to Portugal 
— The provincials are led back--I)iscontent — Expedition from Canada — 
Schuyler's plan for engaging England in the conquest of Canada — He 
goes to England with five Indian chiefs — Produces another English at- 
tempt, which fails as before — Governour Hunter— His Council — Arrival 
of Germans-Lewis Morris-Jacobus Van Cortlandt— Hunter's demands 
upon the assembly — Details of the failure of the attack upon Canada — 
Treaty of Utrecht--Pirates, 265 


Court of Chancery — By the treaty of Utrecht, the Iroquois considered sub- 
jects of England — Peter Schuyler — Governour Burnet — Doctor (J. Col- 
den — Oswego — Congress at Albany — Spotteswode — French plan of 
extending forts from St. Lawrence to Mississippi — Chevalier de Joncaire 
— Burnet's plan, in opposition to France — French at Niagara — (iovernour 
Burnet's ditRculties and final removal to Massachusetts — Character, - - - 280 


Montgomerie, governour — Burnet in Rlassachnsetls — Nature of colonial 
government — Military governours — Members of the council at this time 
— Death of Montgomerie— Rip Van Dam— Colonel Cosby, governour 
—Dispute with Van Dam— Bradford and Zenger— Smith and Alexander 
— The aristocratick and democratick parties, and their leaders — De Lancey 
and Phillipse — Zenger's trial, 29J 



Colonial hi^itory of New York; why valuable — City; description of — Man- 
ners of tlie times — Lord Augnstiis Fitzroy ; his reception, and the conse- 
qnences — Death of Governonr Cosby, and promnli^ation of the suspension 
of Van Dam — 8trujrgle for power between ClarUe and Van Dam, termi- 
nated l)y a mandate from England — Morris — Disfrancliisemcnt of the Jews 
— Management and abilities of Clarke, 311 


Madness of the people of New York, in what is called the Negro Plot — 
Horsemanden — Hughson and family — Peggy Cary — Kane — Price — ,Tohn 
Ury — Executions — Trial of Ury, and his execution — Reward of INIary 
Burton, 320 


Arrival of Admiral Clinton, as governonr of New York — Capture of Louis- 
bourg — Distress of tiie frontiers — Destruction of Iloosick and Saratoga — 
Sir Peter Warren — Governonr Clinton at Albany — Failure of England 
to second the projected conquest of Canada — Governonr Clinton's nisolent 
laneuage to the house of assembly, and their spirited reply — David Brai- 
nard — Murder by a shot from a man-of-war in the harbour of New York 
— Sir Danvers Osborne — Congress at Albany, STiS 


The congress of 1754 — Progress of the French — Debasement of Provincials 
bv the English government and by British otlicers — AtVairs at Oswego, 
aiid other parts of Lake Ontario — Expedition of General William John- 
son against Crown Point — Ilendrick — General Lyman — Fort Eilward — 
Johnson arrives at Lake George — Lyman, leaving a garrison at Fort 
Edward, joins him — Baron Dieskau — Defeat of Williams — Attack upon 
Provincials — Johnson wounded — Lyman connnands — Dieskau wounded, 
and ids troops defeated — Affair of McGinni.< — Campaign of 1755 — Lord 
Loudon — M. Alontcalm takes Oswego and Fort William Henry, - - - 372 


Fort William Henry — Iroquois — Lord Loudon — Louisbourg — Abercronibie, 
his defeat; and the death of Lord Howe — Charles Lee — Bradstreet takes 
Fort Frontignac — Lieutenant-governour De I^aucey meets the legisla- 
ture — Mr. Pitt's requisitions for the compaign of lo.'V.) — Wolfe and Quebec 
— Amherst — Ticonderoga — Crown Point — Isle aux Noix — Prideaux — 
Niagara taken by Johnson, 390 


Legislative enactments — Death and funeral of Lieutenant-governour De 

Lanccy — Andierst's conquest of Canada, 401 


General Amherst arrives at New York ; is invested with the Order of the 
Garter by Monckton, at the encampment on Staten Island — Monckton 
and army sail for Martinique — Troops raised for the regular service of 
(ireat Britain — Gratitude of England— Stamp Act — Its retrospect and 
reception in America in general, and New York in particular — A congress 
in New York — Stamps arrive — Riots — Prudent measures — Lord Chatham 
-—Repeal of the Stamp Act, 406 



New Hampshire grants— Unanimity in opposing,' the stamp act—' 
at Its repeal— Lil..'rty-p()les—En<; project for raising a revej 
the colonies— CJiarles Townsend, 

revenue from 




Some causes of the war of the revolution— The Gaspee -Informer 
Impressment, --.. 


^ WoodL"ulf "■' ThTT^ ""r ^200-Philip Schuyler, George Clinton, and N. 

VVoodhuli-rhelea~CommitteeofHfty-one— Congress of 1774, - - .447 


Lieutenant-governour Colden-Appointment of Washington- Lee-Gates 
— Washmgton s reception by tlie Provincial Congress at New York, - - 456 


'^tZl^'TU^wl^~'^ft' "^^""'t'^eration during the war of therevo- 
CharleTLee ^""^ °^ Vermont-New York in 1775 -The Asia- 

^' 460 

Chatham-Rivington- Christopher Colles-Washington-Schuyler, - - - 473 

Churches and Clergy— Lawyers and Physicians, 482 



Dutch claims — Discover i/ of America and Nciv Netherland — Vcr- 
razzano — Canada — Indians of New Netherland — Gallatin — 
American Antiqidties. 

The territory claimed by the Dutch, and by them called the 
New Netherlands, extended, in the first instance, from Cape Cod 
to Delaware Bay on the Atlantic,* including the islands of the 
sea coast : the river St. Lawrence seems to havG bounded it on 
the north : on (lie south, some undefined line beyond Delaware 
Bay ; and west,- it was boundless. But for the purpose I have in 
view, at present, which is to lay before my readers all that I know 
respecting the inhabitants of this territory when our Dutch ances- 
tors first visited it, I must bound the New Netherlands to the west 
by a line drawn from the upper part of Lake Erie to the Ohio 
River. I shall have hereafter to speak of other lines and boun- 
daries, when we are called to consider the conflicting claims of 
the various nations of Europe. That such claims, and the hetero- 
geneous and hostile colonies resulting from them, should ever have 
combined to form one great nation, such as we now see in the 
United States of America, is what most make the most unthinking 
seriously ponder on the future 

In the year 1497, (five years after Columbus disco- 
1497 vered, San Salvador,) Gabotti, or Cabot, saw the island 
of Newfoundland, which the Northmen had already disco- 
vered long before, and called Vinland.t Columbus, a Genoese, 

* Vanderdonck, writing in the New Netherlands previous to 1653, gives the extent 
thus : " Beginning north of the equinoctial, 38 degrees and 53 minutes, extending 
north-easterly along the sea-coast to the 42nd degree." 

t Humboldt, the great philosophical traveller, has given it as his opinion that the 
Northmen, or Scandinavians, were the first discoverers of America. Others have 
asserted that Columbus, in 1477, when he visited Iceland, obtained such knowledge 
respecting these early discoveries as resulted in his ever memorable voyage to the West 
Indies. The Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries at Copenhagen have already 

VOL. I. 2 


in the service of Spain, gave to that kingdom a claim to all A me- 
rica, because he, in 1492, arrived at San Salvador; and Cabot, a 
Venetian, in tiie employment of Henry VII., of England, con- 
ferred a supposed right upon that monarch to half, or the northern 
portion of that new world, the whole of which Columbus and 
the Bishop of Rome had already given to Spain. 

Those islands called the West Indies, were, probably, at some 
distant period, a part of our continent ; and when Christopher 
Colon, or Columbus, fell in with them, in his search for the East 
Indies, he called the inhabitants Indians, supposing that he had 
arrived at the land of his desires. It was soon, however, believed 
that this discovery of Columbus was a new world ; and as he 
was in the employment of Spain, this new world, wiih all its in- 
habitants, was claimed by that kingdom, and the claim was con- 
firmed by the Bishop of Rome,* to whom all the earth and its 
inhabitants belonged. As the Genoese Columbus had given 
Spain a right to all the new world in 1492, so the Venetian Ga- 
botti, or Cabot, gave the same kind of right to England in 1497 ; 
but Eno;land had no ecclesiastical confirmation of ber claims, and 
relied solely on her power to enforce them. The Norwegian 
discovery was already forgotten. Cabot touched at Vinland in 
1497, and called the country Newfoundland ; he then sailed along 

thrown much light on ihe visits of their ancestors to America, and little doubt remains 
that these early navigators touched our coast as far south as Massachusetts and 
llhode Island ;+ but I shall, as far as possible, or eligible, confine myself to the New 
Netherlands, that is, Delaware. Ne.v Jersey, New Yorl<. and part of Connecticut; 
and the first navigator who gives us any account of the coast, or the inhabitants of 
anv portion of this region, is Giovanni Verrazzano. (See Hackluyt.) In conse- 
quence of his voyages we may suppose that Heiirv iV., of France, granted to 
M. des Monts, all America, from the 40th to the 46ili degree of latitude, and of 
course, the present state of New York ; but James I , of England, likewise 
gave it away, as a part of Virginia, in consequence of Cabot's voyage. But before 
Columbus, if we believe the various claimants for the honour of discovering Ame- 
rica, the Arabs of Spain, the Welsh, the Venetian?, and the Danes, besides the 
Northmen above mentioned, had seen the new world ; certain it is, nothing resulted 
from their discoveries. Various dates are given to the voyages : the Spanish Arabians, 
1140; Madoc's, 1170; and Venice, when mistress of commerce and the sea, when 
prosperity caused pride, and [iride guilt, may have seen America and called it Antilla 
before the map of 1436 ; and the story of the fisherman and the Zeiii may be wortiiy ol 
belief. From these shadowy talcs I free my pages, and hope to bring forth realities 
enough and prove their truth. 

* Alexander VI. The material parts of his bull granting the New World to Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella, the sovereigns of Spain, will be found in Valtel's law of Nations. 
Book 1 Ch. 18. Note. 

t Collection respecting American antiquities, published by the Royal Society of 
Antiquaries of the North : 

986, — Eric, the red, formed a settlement in Greenland, he emigrating from Iceland. 

1000. — 'The son of Eric, in a vovage of discovery, saw various lands and named 
them ; be finally built huts on a part of the coast, and having discovered grapes, 
named the land Vinland. 


ihe coast, sometimes landing, but generally kept some leagues out 
at sea, as far perhaps as the capes of Chesapeake Bay and having 
occasionally visited the shore during this voyage, he brought 
back to his employer a cock and hen-turkey, and three New- 
foundland savages. 

King Henry VII., of England, seems not to have believed that 
the Pope, or Bishop of Rome, had a legal or divine right to be- 
stow the whole of the new world upon the King of Spain ; he 
therefore sent out Cabot again, with instructions to plant his 
standard on the walls of all " the cities and castles," (which the 
inhabitants of this newly discovered world had built for their 
own convenience or pleasure, without consulting his majesty,) 
and to take possession of all die countries " unappropriated by 
clir'istlan sovereigns." 

Thus we see that if the people of these countries should have 
happened to be governed by a monarch not a christian, or to have 
been so silly as to govern themselves, then they and their country 
were to be taken possession of "in the name of Henry" King 
of England ; and the Venetian Cabot was instructed " to maintain 
with tlie inhabitants a traffic exclusive of all competitors, and ex- 
empted from all customs, under the condition of paying a fifth of 
the free profit of every voyage to the crown." The Venetian 
brought back two turkeys. But England claimed, in conse- 
quence of his voyage, the whole of North America not already 
taken possession of by Spain. The Spaniards had really found 
cities and castles, on which to plant the standard of their king ; 
and as the Bishop of Rome had given to them all they could find, 
they took all, and murdered such of the previous possessors as 
resisted the will of the Pope : those who submitted and became 
christians, were only made slaves. 

But the English had not been sufficiently allured by the pro- 
ducts of America, which Cabot brought to them as a return for 

1004. — III 1002 his brother Thorward went to Vinland, and prosecuting disco- 
veries, went east and north : saw Esquimaux — attacked them — murdered many, and 
was himself killed. 

1006. — Other adventurers found a countrv more southerly, where the winter was 
without snow : spent a winter there — saw and had intercourse with the inhabitatits, 
called Skrellings, as were those I call Esquimaux. 

1012. — Another voyage to Vinland is given. 

1015. — An adventurer and trader settled there, and an American born son. The 
records of these discoveries are supported by nautical and geographical facts, etc. 
The intercourse between Greenland and Vinland long kept up. 

1112 — Bishop Eric went to Vinland. 

1266. — Voyages of discovery prosecuted. 

1347. — A voyage from Greenland to Markland. 

Result, that in the tenth and eleventh centuries the Northmen discovered Ame- 
rica — Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries on the ante-Columbian History of 


the cost of fitting out Ins voyage of discovery and conquest ; he 
had seen neither cities, castles, nor gold. Nearly a century 
elapsed before Englishmen were tempted to take possession of 
the land of turkeys, although the widouOted property of their so- 
vereign. In the meantime an adjoining nation, (who, although 
7ieiorhbours, were not loved quite as well as themselves, by the in- 
habitants of the British Isle,) the French, employed another Italian 
to make discoveries west of the AUantic, and secure the 

1523 future happiness of the inhabitants of all countiies in the 

New World, by converting them to Christianity, and the 
present enjoyment of tlie benevolent discoverers, by taking pos- 
session of their property, their territory, and themselves. Francis 
the first commissioned Giovanni Verrazzano to make conquests 
and converts for him and the Pope. But Verrazzano did not 
even bring back a turkey. 

Francis, however, was not discouraged ; and in ei- 

1524 ther a second or third voyage, Verrazzano arrived on the 
coast of America, to the south of New-York, in this 

year ; and as he proceeded northwardly, hoping (as all the ex- 
plorers of those times did,) to find a northwest passage to the 
East Indies, he was delighted with the beauty of the country, 
and the friendly reception he met with from its inhabitants. As 
he approached our superb bay and islands, from the south, the 
scenery increased in loveliness, and the natives in demonstra- 
tions of admiration and hospitality. The Indians flocked to the 
shores with the fruits of their forests and fields — they invited and 
assisted the strangers to landr— they leceived them with joy and 
reverence- In return for the admiration, courtesy and hospitality 
of the savages, the civilized servants of the most christian king 
kidnapped a boy, bore him off from home and parents, and 
endeavoured to force a young woman from her friends, relatives, 
and country, by brutal violence ; but her struggles and their 
cowardice prevented the accomplishment of the rape. 

Still pursuing a northwardly course, Verrazzano arrived at 
the highlands near Sandy Hook, and delighted with his discovery, 
entered Amboy bay. In the words of the Italian voyager as trans- 
lated,* " He here came upon a beautiful spot situated among 
hills, through which a vast river rolled its waters towards the 
ocean. There was water enough at the mouth for a ship of 
^ny burthen ; but he resolved to try the passage first in his boat." 
." He was met by the natives, who far from giving any sign of 
^ear, advanced towards him with joyful gestures, and shouts of 

* Sen North American Review ; Hackliiyl's voyages ; and transactions of the New 
York Historical Society. 


admiration." Such demonstrations of welcome appear to have 
met him wherever he approaciied the shores of New jNetherhmd. 
" Before he had penetrated beyond half a league into die beau- 
tiful lake," ('Bellissimo lago,') and while the inhabitants of each 
shore were hastening "to catch a sight of the strangers," a violent 
wind forced him to return to his ship, and he put to sea again, 
and pursued his way northward and eastward. Thus Verraz- 
zano was driven by stress of weather from the great bay between 
Staten Island and Sandy Hook (or the shore of New Jersey,) be- 
fore he had explored New York harbour, or the mouths of the 
Hudson or Raritan. He passed the island subsequently visited 
by Adrian Block, the Dutch navigator, and which still bears his 
name. But Verrazzano called it Lovisa, that being the name 
of king Francis's moUier. Fifteen leagues more brought him 
to the harbour of Newport; his description of which has been 
applied to New York harbour, erroneously by Belknap and 
Miller. As from the shores of New Jersey, and fiom Long and 
Staten Islands, so here, the navigator was visited by the hos- 
pitable and admiring natives ; and as the description of these 
people given by the Italian, may be supposed in some measure, 
to correspond with that which suited the inhabitants of our coast, 
when first permanently colonized, I will give it nearly in his 
words.* Among those who visited the ship, were two kings, a 
title very lavishly bestowed by Europeans of that time, on the 
chiefs or sachems of the country. One seemed to be about 40, 
the other 24 years of age : the elder was arrayed in a robe of 
deer skins, skilfully wrought with rich embroidery ; his head was 
bare, with the hair carefully tied behind ; his neck was adorned 
with a large chain, set off with various coloured stones. " The 
younger chief was dressed somewhat after the manner of the first." 
The complexion of the people is described as being clear. 
From which we may suppose, that they had not adopted the 
custom of daubing themselves with earth and grease, but were 
purified by the waters of the Atlantic ocean. Their features ap- 
peared regular to the Italian, and their colour not much darker 
than his own. "Their eyes black and lively." "Their hair 
long, and dressed with no ordinary degree of care." Their whole 
appearance bearing resemblance to the busts or statues of the 
ancients. This will remind the reader of the exclamation of Ben- 
jamin West, when he was first shown the statue of the Apollo Bel- 
videre, " how like a young Mohawk warrior!" 

The females were not permitted to approach the strangers ; 

* The costumes which arc given by Dc Bry, and may be fern in the National 
Library, at Washington, are those of the natives of Virginia, the Corolinas, and Mex- 
ico. Copper was found by Verrazzano to be common among the savages he saw. 


but their tentuiT? ami lorius, as far a< they couhl be discerned, 
wore no loss aihnirablo in the eyos of the mariners. "Liko the 
men, they wore in part naked, and in part attired in highly orna- 
mentoii skins ; their hair was studionsly decked with ornamental 
braids, which were left free to fall upon the breast." This des- 
cription corresponds witJi Cniido's pictnre of '* ^ ciuis adorned 
by the Ciraces." It may be remarked of the paintings by the old 
masters, ami statues by tlie Grecian scidptors, that iho hair of the 
t'omales is either bi aided, or, if riowing, loose ami dishevelled, it 
has the crisped appearance, or \va\ ings, which is given by pre- 
vious conJinement in braids. 

The natives seen by Verrazzano more to the south, wore 
head dresses of feathers. Many of the tribes to tlie south-west 
at this time decorate their heads witli crowns of feathers, w Inch 
are siu^rnlaily graceful and eminently beautiful, imposing and be- 
comiuir, combined with theii robes, decorations and arms. The 
embroidered and decorated robes prepared from the skins of the 
butialo and mountain goat, which are brought from the yet free 
tribes of the west and south, correspond to the description of 
the dresses seen by Verrazzano, on the yet uncontaminated na- 
tives, bodi male and female, thronging the shores of New Jersey. 
^^or is the similarity of tiiat careful attention which they paid to 
the lonjj and tlowinii, or braiiled hair, less remarkable, as we see 
it in the paintinirs recently made by artists, who ha\e visited the 
south western Indians. 

Such, and so irentle. kind and hospitable were the natives of the 
seajxirt islands we now iniiabit. and the neiiihbouring banks of our 
continental shores, when tirst visited by Europeans in the sixteenth 
century. 'J'he description of the same people in the seventeenth 
century is somewhat different. Between the two periods the mar- 
tial Iroquois may have extended their conquests from the inland 
seas to the banks of the Hudson and the shores of the Atlantic, 
and leli the baroarous traits of deteriorating war upon the inhabi- 
tants. Even at the lime of Verrazzano's visit, he found in his 
progress north and east, that the natives and their soil were more 
repulsive. Unfortunately, the description left by the navigator is 
not sufficiently minute or accurate, to leave no doubt with his rea- 
ders that the bay he visited was a part of New Neiherland. 

We gain little knowlediie from the slight view Verrazzano gives 
us, of that which ouiihi to be the object of history, men, manners, 
cusionis and opinions : but the little he saw and has described, 
must impress us with the conviction that the inhabitants of the coast, 
whether of New Jersey, New York or elsewhere, in our neigh- 
bourhood, were an amiable people, and had made some progress 
in the arts, which tend to ameliorate the savage. The natives of 
our shores were not hostile to visiters ; they had some knowledge 


of ao^ricuhure ; were strangers to the debasing practices of v\ar ; 
and to the prep.irations for defence against those uiiom war, or the 
thirst for dominion, had rendered barbarous ; but when Champlain 
penetrated into New York from the St. Lawrence, he foimd a 
people of warriors, fierce and cruel; somewhat advanced in polity, 
arts, and agriculture, but placing their delight in conquest and the 
extension of power. Such were the Iroquois. These warhke 
savages, known to the English by the appellation of the five nations, 
had, long before they encountered Champlain on the lake which 
bears his name, or on Lake George, and saw in him the forerunner 
of those who were destined to destroy them — /. c. Europeans — 
long before they knew the power or the art of the white man — 
formed a confederacy of five independent nations, and instituted 
a conirress and federal government, which enabled them to attain a 
degree of perfection in policy and the arts, both of civilized life 
and warlike achievements, that had rendered them tenible to all 
the nations around them. 

After the transient glance which Verrazzano jrives us of that 
part of the American coast he visited, we must look for our next 
information from Champlain and his countrymen, who penetrated 
the northern boundaries of what the Dutch subsequently claimed. 
Champlain met the Iroquois about the time that the Half-moon en- 
tered Hudson's river. It therefore becomes my duty to examine 
by what steps the French adventurers advanced from the Atlantic 
and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, to the beautiful lake now dividing 
the state of New York from her sister state of Vermont : a lovely 
sheet of water, which, after being the scene of hostile strife be- 
tween Indians with Indians, and Europeans whh Europeans, for 
centuries, is now the peaceful and pleasurable pathway from the 
United States of America to the English provinces of Canada. 

I cannot forbear to remark (before noticing the discovery and 
colonization of the Canadas.) upon the difl'erence, not to say con- 
trast, between the conduct and success of the colonizers of New 
York and New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Eng- 
land, on the one hand, and that of the French and Spaniards, 
on the other, in South America, Mexico, Florida, Louisiana, 
Acadia, and Canada. Virginia forms, in some deirree, an excep- 
tion to the prosperous commencements of the Dutch and English 
(or protestant) colonies. The whole subject is full of instruc- 
tion to the contemplative and philosophic mind. 

We see the Dutch and the Swedes peaceably pursuing their 
commercial transactions, and purchasini: soil from the natives on 
the Delaware, the Hudson, "and the Connecticut rivers; and ge- 
nerally with prudence cultivating the friendship of the savages, 
and guarding carefully against the effects of their passions ; 
or their apprehensions of the designs and power ol the 


slnin""ers. We see the Piuitan exiles from their beloved home, 
ijiirsuing a course of conscientious conduct towards the abori- 
•"•ines, and when, in the natural course of events assailed by the 
natives (too late seeing that they must melt away in the presence 
of European power and civilization,) ready to repel force by force, 
and invariably holding their onward way to the establishment of 
a government, suited to their pre-conceived wishes and designs. 
We see the quakcrs in New Jersey laying the foundation of a re- 
public ; and Penn creating an empire without strife, and proclaim- 
in "• liberty, peace and good will, to the red man and the white. 

But if we look to 8outh America, Mexico, and Florida; or 
nortli to Acadia or Canada; we see only a succession of injustice, 
jailiu'es and disasters. Strife and bloodshed between Europeans 
— oppression, cruelty, and a war of extirpation against the natives 
in the south, and in the north a succession of abortive attempts at 
colonization, that seem one to be a copy from the other. The 
protestant and papistical mode of colonization stand in obvious 
contrast to each othei'. 

The vicinity of Canada to ourselves, and the frequent wars upon 
our frontiers, both before and after the French had gained a firm 
footing in that great country, make it necessary for the historian 
of New York to dwell upon the progress of adventure and coloni- 
zation under the French government, in connexion with the settle- 
ment and growth of tlds province and state, as well as of those of 
New Jersey and New England. 


1508 Claims have been made to the discovery of Newfound- 

land, as early as the beginning of the eleventh century, and 
the voyages of the northmen to America appear now to be credited. 
In the year 1508 and perhaps before, the French sent their fishing 
vessels to the Banks of Newfoundland. We have seen that 
Verrazzano in the employ of Francis of France, was on our 
coast in 1523. It is said that he was lost in a third voyage, 
when taking out a colony from France to the new world. 

In 1534, Jaques Cartier, under the patronage of Philip 
1534 Chabot, admiral of Franco, coasted Newfoundland, and to 
the south entered the " Bay of the Spaniards," which he 
called ^^ Baye dcs Clialeuis.'''' He had passed the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence without noticing it. Already the Spaniards had given 
a name to the great country Cartier had passed by, and the d^N, 
pellation bestowed upon it by them, has been adopted by the 
civilized world. The Spanish discoverers, disgusted with the 
appearance of the land forming the entrance of the gulf into 


which the river St. Lawrence pours the waters of the inland 
seas of North America, exclaimed, as Charlevoix has it, "Aca 
nada," "Nothing there." or "Good for nothing;" from which 
comes Canada. Thus "good for nothing" is the established 
appellation of a vast country, destined to become a great, inde- 
pendent, and flourishing emjjire. 

Jacques Cartier returned home after a fruitless voyage ; and 
having received a more ample commission from the government, 
and the benediction of a bishop " dressed in his pontifical ha- 
bits," sailed on a second voyage, (1535) and found his way into 
the great Canadian Gulf on St. Lawrence's day; to which cir- 
cumstance we owe the name, so sonorous, and now so familiar, 
which is attached to the bay and the river that for so many miles 
forms the boundary of the state of New York. This was seventy- 
four years before Hudson entered our harbour, or Champlain 
the country of the L-oquois. The navigator sailed up the stream 
which he had called, for the first time, " St. Lawrence," as far as 
the island of Hochelaga, now Montreal. He named the place 
Mount Royal, after visiting the mountain or hill, which 
towers over the populous city and beautiful island, so famous in 
American history. Cartier passed the winter in this place, and at 
the Island of Orleans. The French were received with hospi- 
tality by the Indians, and the sailors communicated their vices 
and diseases to them in return. The commander suffered severely 
by the scurvy, and many of his followers died. Having lost most 
of his crew, he returned to France, after enticing away, and car- 
rying into a miserable captivity the chief who had received him 
as a friend and benefactor. This was a common return made 
by Europeans for the kindness of the natives of the American 
islands and continent. 

In 1540 Francis the first commissioned M. de Roberval as 
his viceroy over Canada, Newfoundland, and all their depen- 
dencies, and the next year he sailed with Cartier as his pilot to 
take possession of his dominions. All Roberval accomplished 
was to build a fort at Cape Breton, which he victualled and gar- 
risoned. This done, the viceroy placed Cartier in the fort as 
commander, and returned home. The natives and owners of 
the soil, not being paid for the land occupied by the colonists, or 
even consulted in the disposition made by the French, gave after 
a time such indications of their displeasure, that Cartier, and 
the whole population embarked in a vessel left behind by Roberval, 
and were gladly leaving the country when they were met by the 
viceroy, with a reinforcement from France, and much to their 
chagrin were forced to return to the scene of their sufferings. 
After re-establishing the fort, the colony, and Cartier as command- 
ant, the king's lieutenant sailed to the St. Lawrence. Shortly after 

VOL. I. 3 


ihe viceroy, the commandant, and siicb of the colony as survived, 
got back to France as they could, gladly abandoning the country. 
During the reign of Henry the second of France, the 
155-5 enmity existing at home between the papists and protes- 
tants, was signalized by tragedies acted on the theatre of 
1562 the new world. In 1562, Jean de Ribaut planted a colony 
of French protestants in Florida. He returned to France 
— the colonists put their commander to death — and part of them 
found their wav back after sufFerins;s that made even relij'ious 
persecution at home preferable to remaining. Several other at- 
tempts succeeded no better; and one whole colony of protestants 
from France, were attacked by the papistical tSpaniards, and all 
who were not put to the sword were hanged. The Spanish 
commander left the bodies suspended, affixing to a tree a placard 
with the vvords, "these men were not irealed thus because they 
were French, but because they were heretics and enemies of God." 
The French government under the religious dominion of Rome, 
seemed to justif}^ this act by not noticing it ; but an individual con- 
sidering it an afiront put upon his nation, undertook to wipe oft' the 
stain. The Chevalier de Gourgues at his own expense fitted out 
an expedition to Florida, where the Spaniards had established 
themselves in the fort built by the French : he landed, attacked 
the Spaniards, and having carried the place sword in hand, 
hanged up the prisoners, and affixed to the place of execution 
" I do not this to Spaniards, but to traitors, robbers, and mur- 

To return to the North. Henry the fourth of France 
159S commissioned the Marquis de la Roche as his viceroy over 
Canada, and another attempt was made to colonize that 
country, with the same success. Forty men were leilt on 
the Isle i/c Sable, who died of starvation, except twelve, who after 
seven yeai-s suffering, were taken off and carried home. 

To La R,oche succeeded Chauvin, and Pontgrave. 
1603 The last brought with him from France a man who has 
left his name indelibly attached to part of the state of New 
1 ork. Fie it was that first penetrated from the St. Law- 
1609 rence, tlirough the Sorel, to Lake Champlain. That beau- 
tiful lake, with its neighboui', which has lost its appellation 
of " Sacrament," and retained the English name of Lake George, 
"were considered by the French as parts of Canada; as was all 
that country now belonging to New York and Pennsylvania, north- 
ward and westward of a line drawn from the south of Lake 
Champlain to the east of Pittsburg. And Golden, in his History 
of the five nations, says as late as 1748, that the L'oquois were 
inhabitants of Canada, though dependent on the government of 
New York ; and we all know thatibcir countrv lav to the south of 


St. Jjawrcnce, of the Lakes Ontario and Erie, and even of 
Champlaia and Ceorge. 

It was in 1G03 that M. Pontgrave sailed from France, and M. 
Champlain accompanying him on the voyage, they ascended the 
St. Lawrence together as high as Montreal ; but the voyage seems 
to have been without efFecl. The next year, M. de Monts, although 
a calvinist, was commissioned by the king to colonize Canada, with 
permission to exercise his religion, he engaging to settle the coun- 
try, and establish the Roman Catholic faith among the natives. 
Several merchants of Rochelle joined in this adventure, as if an- 
ticipating the necessity of a place of refuge in America. The 
armament, of four ships, was under the command of Messrs. de 
Monts and Pontgrave, who w'ere accompanied by Champlain and 
Biencourt ; the latter of whom became the lieutenant of De 
Monts ; who, leaving a colony at Port Royal, returned to 
France, where, probably in tonsequence of his religion, he was 
deprived of his commission. Biencourt sailed to France for suc- 
cour for his colonists, and just returned in time 1o prevent their 
abandoning Port Royal. 

Champlain, meantime, had chosen Quebec for his place of re- 
sidence with some follow^ers, and in 1608 constructed a few huts 
on that commanding spot, now so celebrated. The trees were 
cut down and land prepared for cultivation. Leaving ihings in 
this state, he returned to France, and joining with De Monts and 
Pontgrave, they arrived again in the St. Lawrence in 1G09, about 
the time that Henry Hudson explored the river which bears his 
name. The object of Pontgrave was to trade at Tadonssac, a 
place nearer the ocean, while Champlain carried succours to his 
colony at Quebec, who were thriving and on friendly terms with 
the Algonkins their neighbours. These people supplied the wants 
of the colonists, and in return were desirous of their assistance 
against the Iroquois, the five confederated nations, w'ho by their 
union and prowess were the conquerors of a great extent of coun- 
try, and the terror of the surrounding nations. Champlain wish- 
ing to ingratiate himself with the Algonkins, and desirous of explo- 
ring the country south and west, in an evil hour for France agreed 
to accompany them on a hostile expedition against their redoubted 
enemies. Accompanied by a k\v Frenchmen, armed with match- 
locks, Champlain embarked with the Algonkins, and proceeding 
up the St. Lawrence and through the Sorel, entered tlie beautiful 
lake to which he gave his name, previously know-n as the Lake 
Iroquois. They proceeded south, and at the meeting of the waters, 
Y'iconJero^a, passed into Lake George, to which the French lead- 
er gave the appellation of St. Sacrament, from the pellucid clear- 
ness of the water, which he thought well suited to the holy offices 


of his religion. They were now in the country of the Iroquois, 
and approaching the castle of the Mohawks. 

A war party of the confederated Iroquois were navigating this 
lake on their way to the St. Lawrence, and the two armaments of ca- 
noes soon met. The hostile parties landed and prepared for battle ; 
the warriors of the Iroquois with shouts pressed on to certain 
victory, for who could stand before them. '^ But to their astonish- 
ment they saw the enemy advance with confidence — heard strange 
thunders — beheld the fire and smoke that issued from the ranks 
of the Algonkins, while the fatal bolts inflicted wounds and 
death, although the enemy was yet out of reach of the tomahawk 
or arrow. The Iroquois were astonished and fled. This was the 
first time that fire-arms had been seen or heard, the first time their 
power had been felt by the Iroquois. The x\lgonkins retraced 
their way to the St. Lawrence with some captives, and Cham- 
plain saw the mode in which his allies treated their enemies when 
prisoners. The scalps of the slain were exposed to their families, 
and the savage triumph of torture and cannibalism was for the first 
time witnessed by the French. 

M. Champlain soon after returned lo France, but left a feeling 
of hostility towards his nation which was never eradicated from the 
breasts of the Iroquois. The Dutch of New Netherland soon 
after taught ihem the use of fire-arms, and supplied them with 
the means of mischief; and when the colony was subjected to 
England, the five confederated nations were always the allies and 
the bulwark of New York against the French. 


It may appear necessary that a history of the New Netherlands 
or of New York, should commence with all that is known of the 
inhabitants found within its present, or former boundaries when 
discovered by Europeans. The natives were called Indians by the 
first discoverers, because when seeking a new passage to the East 
Indies, they found a new world, which they thought was part of 
the old world they sought, and the appellation has been continued 
to this day. Where these Indians came from has been a question 
occupying the minds of many men and the pages of many books, 
and it is as far from being decided now as when first started. No 
longer considered as aborigines, authors have brought them from 
various parts of the eastern hemisphere : they have been pronounced 
Tartars, Hindoos, Japanese, Philistines and Jews; but most 
agree that before their arrival, whether over the Pacific Ocean 


or by the way of Behrings Straits, another and a more civilized 
people occupied America. Indications are supposed to exist of 
such a people even in the western parts of New York, still more 
in Ohio and the valley of the Mississippi. We look with admi- 
ration at the wonders disclosed by the discovery of Palenque and 
other ruins in Mexico ; and our attention is drawn to the anti- 
quities of more southern nations ; but my researches must be bound- 
ed as much as possible at this time, within lines diawn from the 
Gulf of St. Lawrence and Delaware bay, on the Atlantic, to a 
moderate distance westward towards the Pacific Ocean, keeping 
(as much as possible) east of the Rocky Mountains. Indeed we 
shall find that the Algonkins, Delavvares and Iroquois will occupy 
most of our attention. 

Mr. Jefferson in his Notes on Virginia, written in 1781, and pub- 
lished six years after, says, that the best proof of the affinity of 
nations is their language. Mr. Gallatin has recentlj-, 1886, pub- 
lished a luminous essay on this subject, comprehending in his re- 
searches the American tribes, as known in the year 1492, as well 
as at the time of his writing ; nations spread from Patagonia to 
the Arctic sea, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. I 
know no better guide than this learned and sagacious author and 

Although the languag-e of the Indians of America is from one root, 
the branches aj)])e(ir to have no affinity, if we may believe travellers 
and agents who have been years among this people, and have at- 
tended to the subject. They have foiuid that the attainment of 
the language of one nation is useless in the attempt at intercourse 
with another. Adair, and many who have wished to find the lost 
ten tribes of Israel in America, think that they have heard the 
W'Ord Jehovah made use of by the Indians in their addresses to 
the Great Spirit. Other travellers have sought for it in vain. 
The nearest resemblance they could find, was that during the songs 
and dances of most of the western tribes, they uttered a sound or 
yell, in which was a continued repetition of " yeh, yah, yeh, yah," 
ending in a shrill, short, yelping shout. 

The North American Review-, (No. 64) gives from the Chip- 
pewa dialect, a branch of the Algonkin, the w^ords "jah," and 
" atta," as " indicating respectively 'to be' an animate and inani- 
mate nature." And these words are said to " run like two prin- 
cipal arteries, through the whole language." Jah is said to be part 
of the name of the supreme Being, and when used in the sacred 
or mystic songs of the Indians, *' excites a strong feeling of fear 
and dread." The " yah" above mentioned, as given by travellers, 
I take to be the same word, or sound, as is used in all their 
songs, and commonly accompanied by their dances. At the same 


time, k lo said that the words used in their songs are not generally 
understood by those who repeat them. 

The reviewers say, that " ^Nlonedo," which is frequently written 
Manilo, is " the modern name for the supreme Being, or Great 
Spirit," and is " a personal form of the verb ' to take,' derived 
from the supposed abstraction of the food placed as an offering, 
to the supreme Spirit upon the rude altar-stone." Yah, is one of 
the Hebrew titles of .Jehovah. They further say that when the 
Indians endeavour to recollect the name of a person, or of a for- 
gotten circumstance, they repeat the words "jah, jab," meaning 
"It is — it is." They give examples of the use of "jah," thus, 
"jah-e-men." "He is there," "Monedo-jah." " He "is a spirit." 

But to return to our history of the Indians within the bounds of 
New i\etherland, and those immediately connected with them 
either by relationship, or friendship, or war, (much the most fertile 
source of intimacy or interchange of communion;) these were the 
five great divisions or families, first, the Algonkins ; under which 
name we may include the Chippewas, (or according to modern or- 
thography, Ojibbawas,) the Ottowas, Knistanaux, Pottawattamies, 
and Mississagues. Second, The Iroquois, under which appellation 
I include the five great confederate nations of Senecas, Cayugas, 
Onandagas, Oneidas, and Mohawks,* (called likewise Manguas, 
Mingues, and Mingoes,) with, when called the six nations, the Tus- 
caroras. There were other nations of Iroquois origin, but they 
were enemies of the confederates. Thirdhj, The Delaware? ; 
including the Minsies, Nanticoks, Susquehannocks, Conoys and 
Pamlicoes. Fourthh/, The Mohicans ; including probably the 
Pequods, certainly the Manhattans, Montauks and other Long 
Island tribes, with the River Indians under various names ; and 
fifthly, the New England Indians, such as perhaps the Pequods, 
certainly the Narragansets, Wampanoags, Massachusetts, Paw- 
tuckets and some others. 

The Dclmcares first received Verrazzano and his French crew, 
as they did afterwards the Dutch under Henry Hudson, on the 
shores of New Jersey and within Sandy Hook. The Manhattan- 
Mohicans, were the second people who had intercourse with the 
crew of the Half-moon : and soon after the river Indians were as- 
tonished at the sight of the monster of the great deep, the float- 
ing Wigwam, bearing white-skinned manitoes. Before this visit 
from Europeans, the Mohicans and river Indians had been ren- 

* The five Iroquois nations were each coitiposed of three tribes, designated by 
some animal, as the Mohawk nation, (whose three castles occupied the Valley of the 
Mohavvk,) consisted of the Tortoise, the Bear and the^^'oIf 

Mil. Gallatin's map. 23 

dered tributary to the redoubted confederacy of the Iroquois, with 
whom the Dutch, and after them the EngUsh of New York, liad the 
most intimate and profitable intercourse. They were a slieltering 
frontier of warriors opposed to the French and Indians of Canada. 
I shall have much to say of the A/gonkins, as the allies of France 
and enemies of the Iroquois, and of the Europeans of New York. 

By the annexed sheet (for which I am indebted to iNIr. C!al- 
latin's larger maj) of the situation of all the Indian nations of North 
America,) the student of the history of New York will sec die 
abodes ol" the savage nations, with whom it is most necessary 
for him to become acquainted, as their friendly intercourse or 
hostile aggressions formed impoi'tant parts of our annals, until after 
the war of the revolution. 

The Algonkin territory extends north and west from New Y'ork 
to the Mississippi, and a river falling into Hudson's Bay. We 
are told that the word " Missi," in the Algonkin tongue, means 
"all," or the ichole, perhaps great, and " nissi" is icater. Whereas 
" sippi" means river, and joined to " missi" gives "the whole," 
or the great river — the Mississij)pi. The southern boundary of the 
Algonkins may be considered as the north shore of the St. Law- 
rence and the lakes, including the tract lying between lakes Erie 
and Michigan, and between a line drawn from the latter to the 
river Missouri. 

The northern Iroquois in the year IGOO, possessed land on both 
shores of the St. Lawrence and of the Lakes, to the head of 
Lake Erie ; and thence their territory extended beyond the jNIiami 
river to the Ohio, which last river, with such land as the Dela- 
wares and Mohicans could withhold from them, was their boun- 
dary on that part. Mr. dallatin says, " The Iroquois nations 
consisted of two distinct groups," which when they were first 
known to the Europeans, were separated from each other by 
several intervening, but now extinct Lenape, /. c. Delaware 
tribes. It is in the northern group that we are most interested. 
The same writer says, " when Jaques Cariier entered and ascended 
the river St. Lawrence in 153-5, he found the site of Montreal, 
then called Hochelaga, occupied by an Iroquois tribe," and "we 
have no further account till the year 160S, when Champlain 
founded Quebec ; and the Island of Montreal was then inhabited 
by the Algonkins." So we have reason to believe that the latter 
people sometimes repulsed the Iroquois, notwithstanding their 
general superiority both in civilization and arms. 

The intelligent and philosophic writer above mentioned, gives 
the boundaries of the northern Iroquois thus, " on the north, the 
height of land which separates the waters of the Ottaiva river 
from those which fall into the Lakes Huron and Ontario, and the 
river St. Lawrence. But the countrv north of the lakes was a 


debatable ground, on vvliicli the Iroquois had no permanent 
eslabHshment, and at least one Algonkin tribe called Missisagues 
was settled. On the west, Lake Huron was the bound of the 
five nations ; and south of Lake Erie, a line not far from the 
Sciota, extending to the Ohio, was the boundary between the 
Wyandots, or other, now (1S36) extinct Iroquois tribes, and 
the Miamies and Illinois. On the east. Lake Champlain, and fur- 
ther south, the Hudson river as far down as the Kaatskill Mountains 
belonged to the confederates. These mountains separated the 
Mohawks, (a tribe of Iroquois) from the Lenape Wappingers of 
Esopus. The southern boundary cannot be accurately defined. 
The five nations were then (160S) carrying on their war of 
subjugation and extermination, against all the Lenape tribes," (the 
Delawares) " west of the river Delaware. Their war parlies were 
already seen at the mouth of the river Susquehannah ; and it is 
impossible to distinguish between what they held in consequence 
of recent conquests, and their original limits. These did not 
probably extend beyond the range of mountains, which form 
southwesterly the continuation of the Kaatskill chain. West of 
the Alleghany mountains they are not known to have had any 
settlement south of the Ohio ; though the Wyandots" ( once an 
Iroquois tribe by language,) " have left their names to a southern 
tributary of that river — the Guyandot." 

The Tuscaroras are the only portion of the southern Iroquois 
which I have to notice as the historian of New York, and that 
only, because when driven from North Carolina, they were re- 
ceived by the Iroquois of the five nations, and constituted a sixth 
in 1712. 

The situation of the five nations in this State, is still marked 
by names familiar to the citizens of New York : the river 
Mohawk winds from the high ground on which fort Stanwix 
once stood, and falls into the greater Hudson amidst islets ; while 
another stream from the same height runs into Ontario through 
the Oneida Lake and Onondaga river. Counties and towns 
likewise bear the names of these nations ; Cayuga Lake 
and river remind the traveller of a fourth, and the village of 
Seneca Falls with other vestiges, fast fading, show the residence 
of the fifth of this once great confederacy.* 

* Tlie remaining Onondagas, in 1815, residing near ihe council ground of the union, 
were sober, iionest, and somewhat agricultural. They obstinately rejected teachers 
from the whites, answerincr in respect to clergymen, as the chief of the Narragansetts 
replied to the offers of Mr. Mayhew, who asked permission to preach to his people, 
" Go, and make tlie English good first ;" adding, " as long as the English caimot 
agree among themselves, what religion is, it ill becomes them to teach others." 
The tribe of Algonkms, said by the French to be converted to the christian religion, were 
called Abenakis : these and the New England Indians, of the far east, were between 


The Iroquois of New York were the terror of all the nations that 
surrounded them. By their advancement in civilization, attention 
to agriculture, (although committed in the practice to their women 
and slaves,) conduct as statesmen and warriors, general superiority 
in all the arts of destruction, and above all by their union into one 
confederated body of free and independent nations governed by a 
great council or congress, they had become the acknowledged 
lords of many tributary tribes, and appear to have pursued their 
course of vengeance or thirst for conquest in the persecution of 
those whom they chose to account enemies, with a relentless pur- 
pose, and with a subdety and courage that distinguished them as 
braves above all others of the red-skin species, and might entitle 
them to comparison with the states and heroes of ancient, or in 
some respects, modern Europe. 

In the year 1600, the seat of the confederated Iroquois, or 
five nations,* was south of the river St. Lawrence and Lake On- 
tario, and extended from the Hudson to the upper branches of the 
river Alleghany, and to Lake Erie ; Hochelaga, now Montreal, was 
founded in 1535, and the island was inhabited by Indians speak- 
ing a dialect of the Iroquois tongue, they were Hurons, and be- 
tween Montreal and Quebec the Iroquois had resided and planted, 

Kenebec and the river Piscataqua. The Indians were found more populous in the 
vicinity of the Atlantic Ocean and its rivers than in the interior, owing to the greater 
abundance of food within a given district to be attained without labour. The Pe- 
quods (a part of the Mohicans) of New England were reputed to amount in former 
times to 4000 warriors; but in 1674, Gookin states them to amount to only 300. 
During the intermediate time thev had been subjugated by the whites. The Nar- 
ragansetts in 1674, counted 1000 warriors; the Wapanoags, Massachusetts and 
Pawtucketls, had, it is said in former times, an aggregate of 9000 men ; but at the 
date above mentioned they had less that 1000 warriors altogether. In 1680 Con- 
necticut contained 500 Indian warriors of all the tribes within her borders. In 
1774, by an actual census, there were still remaining, Indians of all ages and sexes 
1363 ; and in Rhode Island 1482. 

* It is asserted by a writer in 1741, that the confederacy of the five nations was 
established, as the Indians say, one age, or one man's life before the white people 
settled at 'Albany, or before white men came to the country ; and he gives the 
names of the chiefs who formed the confederacy : viz : the Mohawk was Togana- 
■loita : the Oneida Olntscherhtis ; the Onandago Tatotarpa ; the Cayuga, Toga- 
hajon: the Senecas had two chiefs present, Ganniafarico and Stifa/raruregcs. And 
further, that the Mohawks made thetfirs step towards the confederacy, and for that 
reason bore the name of Tgavihoga, in council. The destruction of the greater part 
of the Hurons or Wvandots, (who it must be remembered were of Iroquois origin, 
but not part of the Iroquois confederacy) took place in 1649. and the dispersion of 
the residue, with that of the Algonkins of the Ottowa river, was acheived by the con- 
federated Iroquois in 1650. The Delawares, who had resisted until this time, then 
submitted, and the victorious Iroquois evacuated fort Christina on the Delaware, and 
sold the adjacent lands to the Dutch in 1651. The neutral nations were annihilated or 
incorpoated'withthe Iroquois at this time, i. e. about 1651. From 1651 to 1653, these 
conquerors destroyed the Eries : and in 1672 the Andastes. During all these wars, 
the Iroquois carried on hostilities against the Algonkins and the French. I owe these 
dates to the researches of Mr. Gallatin, and they give a lively idea of the power and 
aggressions of the confederated Iroquois of the seventeenth century. 
VOL. I. 4 


but had withdrawn themselves to the other side of the St. Law- 
rence for the purpose of concentration. The Cayugas and Oneidas 
were younger members of the confederacy than the other three : 
the Tuscaroras, who spoke the same language, were not received 
until 1712. The confederated five nations had acquired a decided 
superiority over other Indians long before they were known to Eu- 
ropeans ; they were then at war with the Algonkins and Hurons. 
They had carried their conquests to the mouth of the Susquehannah, 
to the present site of Newcastle on the Delaware, and were objects 
of terror from die sources of the Potomack to the Merrimack and 

Their wisdom in concentrating the confederacy within the above 
mentioned limits, and only making distant tribes (when con- 
quered) tributary, is one cause of their superiority. Within these 
limits they were at home : they were protected on the south by 
mountains, on the north by lakes. Although more polished and 
civilized, they were more daring, ferocious, and perhaps more cruel 
than their neighbours ; that is, more thoroughly military and heroic. 
But above all, they were better and more constantly supplied with 
food from the circumstance above mentioned, of being somewhat 
of agriculturists, and of course further advanced towards perma- 
nency and civilized life, than the wretched beings who were 
scattered over wood, prairie and desert, in pursuit of game, and 
either revelling in super-abundance, or wasting with hunger. More 
certain subsistence gave the Iroquois more leisure for improvement, 
and thus, in both council and field they had greater advantages than 
their neighbours. The Delawares, according to Mr. Gallatin, call 
themselves Lcnno Lciicq^c (Heckewelder's Lenni Lenape) meaning 
" original or unmixed men." But they had been conquered by 
the Iroquois, who stigmatized them as women. At the treaty of 
Easton in 175S, the Delaware chief, Tadyusacing, acknowledged 
that the land near the source of the Delaware belonged to his 
uncles, the Iroquois, and that the Delawares were bounded by the 
Kaatskill mountains, where the Iroquois (or Mohawks) again met 
them. The Delawares extended along the Schuylkill and the 
sea-shore of New Jersey. 

It is stated by all writers, on the testimony of the Indians, that 
the Mohicans, Wappingers, and all the river Indians on the Hud- 
son, had been subjugated by the Iroquois and paid them tribute : 

* When the Algonkins took refuge with the French under the walls of Quebec, 
the Iroquois followed and attacked them there. In such terror were they held by 
the Now England Indians, that Gookin says, the appearance of four or five Maquas 
(Mohawks,) in the woods, would frighten the neighbouring Indians from home, and 
make them take refuge in forts. On Long Island, and in Connecticut the Mohawks 
have been known to pursue their flying enemies, or victims, into the houses of the 
English settlers, and there murder them. Their superiority has been likened to 
that of the armed knights of feudal Europe over the defenceless peasantry, orofdisci- 
plmed soldiers of modern times, over half-armed militia without military knowledge 
or leaders to guide ihcm. 


yet it is certain that the Mohicans and Iroquois, were at war 
with each other after the settlement of the Dutch in New Nether- 
land. Golden states that their war continued until 1673 ; at 
which time the Dutch succeeded as mediators, and produced a 
state of peace between the belligerents. 

It is worthy of remark, and has been stated by a writer of great 
philosophic research, that Indians, however they may have to com- 
plain of evils introduced by the Europeans, have, since the exis- 
tence of the United States as a free republic, been ameliorated 
in their manners. 

Mr. Gallatin, the writer I allude to, remarks that for the last 
forty years, we know of no instance of any Indian tribes torturing 
and burning their prisoners. 

Strange as it may now appear, we know that the French, in 
their Ganadian wars, encouraged this abominable custom. 

It is truly asserted that our prosperity has been attained at the 
expense of the Indian tribes ; and that we owe them a great debt, 
which it is from many various circumstances very difficult to pay ; 
but it should never be forgotten. If they had not in the first place 
received the Dutch and English widi kindness, their colonies 
could not have been planted. When they fouod that by selling, 
or giving their lands, they had deprived themselves of territory 
necessary for their subsistence ; and that those received as gods 
were rapacious or encroaching men, addicted to vices and familiar 
with blood, men who treated them always as inferiors and often as 
slaves, they in vain endeavoured to regain the territory without which 
they could not exist in that state, and with the customs they pre- 
ferred. Then began wars, which resulted in defeat, loss, subju- 
gation and extermination, inflicted upon them for endeavouring to 
regain that which they had thoughtlessly parted with, or to prevent 
further encroachments. 

The whites increased in numbers ; forests gave way to culti- 
vated fields ; marshes and swamps to gardens and orchards ; 
mud built huts and pallisadocd castles, to palaces, cities and 
churches. This is not to be lamented — it could not be otherwise 
— it was to be wished. Men in the hunter state, who were in- 
cessantly stimulated to barbarous and loathsome acts of revenge, 
against any neighbour who crowded upon the territory necessary 
or imagined to be necessary, for their hunting grounds ; men 
whose principle as well as practice was to return tenfold, evil for 
evil ; who inculcated as a duty revenge for injury and insult ; are 
happily more than replaced by those who look to agriculture for 
subsistence, and to forgiveness for happiness ; a race, whose refi- 
gion teaches them to return good for evil, (however feebly they 
may practise the lessons of divine wisdom) are infinitely prefer- 
rable to that whose morality was vengeance, and whose delight 


was blood. The agriculturist loves peace, the hunter delights in 
war ; the first is in a state of improvement ; for in peace alone 
mankind can progress to the perfection they are capable of ; the 
second cannot improve, for war deteriorates all who are engaged in 
it. It would be folly or worse, to regret that thousands, nay mil- 
lions, of comparatively civilized beings constantly improving, and 
more and more influenced by the love and charity their religion 
inculcates, should have taken the place once occupied by a few 
hundreds of barbarians, whose pride made them detest that labour 
which is the only true foundation for improvement. 

It may perhaps be expected that I should say something fur- 
ther of the people who preceded the red men, now melting 
away before the European race — those nations who, perhaps, 
have succeeded each other, varying in degrees of civilization, in 
arts, science, manners and morals, who may have occupied this 
vast continent, ages before the Esquimaux, Knistinaux, Algon- 
kins, Lenape, Iroquois, or any other of the barbarous tribes we 
know, or have heard of — even before the half civilized Mexi- 
cans and Peruvians ; but I know nothing of them except that 
remains and monuments are found which excite the imagination, 
and leave us, after every effort to penetrate into the past, in 
a dreamy and unsatisfactory state, thirsting fOr knowledge of 
we know not what. This we may be certain of — however far 
these nations had advanced in improvement, they had not attained 
the art of printing. 

I acknowledge that no one can read the accounts we have re- 
ceived of the ruins of Palanque or Copan in Mexico, or of 
the remains of empire in Peru, or of the mounds, vestiges 
of fortifications and other tokens of ancient power, found in 
the valley of the Mississippi, and elsewhere, without conjuring 
up ideas which are rather fitting for the writers of romance than 
history. I have visited some of the remains of fortifications in 
the state of New York : of them I shall say more when speaking 
of the military operations of the French. Mr. Gallatin remarks 
that all Indian works for defence were of the same kind ; that is, 
palisades. By Indians, meaning the race of red men now exist- 
ing and passing away. He further observes, that they were pro- 
portioned to the population of an Indian village. The regular for- 
tifications of earth found in this state, or to the west, indicate the 
work of Europeans, or of people in a more advanced state of civi- 
lization, than the Indians of the New Netherlands had arrived at 
when first known to Europeans, not even excepting the Iroquois. 
The Mississippi monuments indicate a populous, and of course an 
agricultural people : the probability is that they were destroyed by 

* See Appendix A. 


barbarians, who decreased in numbers in consequence of their 
\var.5 of extermination, and desolating the country tliey had over- 
run. But all this is conjecture, not liistory.* 

Jt has so happened that I iiave seen and conversed with three 
Indian Interpreters, men who had been carried away captive in 
childhood and adopted among the Iroquois, when all the western 
part of this state was uninhabited except by Indians. These 
men had all returned to civilized life, were possessed of landed 
property, and were employed by government, as qualified by their 
knowledge of language, and their reputation for honesty and intelli- 
gence, to be the channels of communication between the red and 
white men. Their names were Jones, Parish, and Webster. With 
the last I had most frequent communication ; but a friend says that 
in 1819 he heard Mr. Parish testify, that it was then forty- two 
years since he first saw the Genesee river, and my friend re- 
marked that of 70,000 people then in Ontario, not one other could 
say the same. Mr. Webster was most conversant with the On- 
ondagas, and when I knew him in 1815 cultivated land in Onon- 
daga Hollow, and was looked up to by the Indians as a friend and 
father. He testified to the arts of Governor Simcoe and the En- 
glish in stimulating the Indians to that war and those murders 
which were only terminated by Wayne's victory, and the treaty 
of Greenville. 

The Indian tradition of the origin of the confederacy as given 
by him, was as follows : He said that the happy thought of union 
for defence originated with an inferior chief of the Onondagas, 
who perceiving that although the five tribes were alike in language, 
and had by co-operaiion conquered a great extent of country, yet 
that they had frequent quarrels and no head or great council, to re- 
concile them; and that while divided, the western Indians attacked 
and destroyed them ; seeing this, he conceived the bright idea of 
union, and of a great coimcil of the chiefs of the Five Nations : 
this, he said, and perhaps thought, came to him in a dream ; and 
it was afterward considered as coming from the Great Spirit. He 
proposed this plan in a council of his tribe, but the principal chief 
opposed it. He was a great warrior, and feared to lose his in- 
fluence as head man of the Onondagas. This was a selfish man. 
The younger chief, who we wiil call Owcko, was silenced ; but he 
determined in secret to attempt the great political work. This 
was a man who loved the welfare of others. To make lone: 
journeys and be absent for several days while hunting, would cause 
no suspicion, because it was common. He left home as if to 
hunt ; but taking a circuitous patli through the woods, for all this 
great country was then a wilderness, he made his way to the vil- 
lage or castle of the Mohawks. He consulted some of the leaders 

* See Appendix B. 


of that tribe, and they received the scheme favorably ; he visited 
the Oneidas, and gained the assent of tlieir chief; he then returned 
home. After a time he made another pretended hunt, and another ; 
thus, by degrees, visiting the Cayugas and Senecas, and gained 
the assent of all to a great council to be held at Onondaga. With 
consummate art he then gained over his own chief, by convincing 
him of the advantages of the confederacy, and agreeing that he 
should be considered as the author of the plan. The great council 
met, and the chief of the Onondagas made use of a figurative ar- 
gument, taught him by Oweko, which was the same that we read 
of in the fable, where a father teaches his sons the value of union 
by taking one stick from a bundle, and showing how feeble it 
was, and easily broken, and that when bound together the bundle 
resisted his utmost strength. 

I have mentioned the defeat of the war party of the Iroquois* on 
Lake George by the effect of the fire-arms of Champlain and his 
companions, who accompanied the Algonkins at the time. We 
cannot but imagine the astonishment, and perhaps incredulity, 
which would be manifested by the chiefs of the Iroquois when 
assembled in council at Onondaga Hollow, they received the ac- 
count which the fugitives gave of the white men's thunder and 
lightning proceeding from the ranks of their enemies, and destroy- 
ing without hope the leaders and warriors who had always before 
returned as triumphant conquerors. They could not but assent 
— for an Iroquois, at that time, could not tell a falsehood — yet 
the tale must have appeared incomprehensible. They soon would 
learn the circumstances attendins; the visit of the French to Ca- 
nada, and their alliance with the Algonkins. They never forgave 
the aggression of Champlain, and many hundreds of Frenchmen 
were sacrificed to atone for the thundering of that day on Lake 


Discovery of Manhattoes — Henry Hudsonf — Commencement of 
New Netherland- — Christianse and Block. 

1579 To Holland, a peninsula protruding into the sea, with soil 

only protected from the waves by embankments, we owe 

the germ of New York. Holland had erected the standard of 

* Mr. Moulton gives Irocoisia as the name of the country of the Iroquois. He 
says truly, their territorial dominion embraced an empire that niiijht be compared 
to that of ancient Rome. I have elsewhere given the boundaries of their territory. 
Where and what arc they now 1 

t See Apppcndi.Y 0. 


freedom in Zealand, the first place of the United Netherlands 
which defied the power of Spain ; they owed to a province com- 
posed of islands, and depending upon the ocean for subsistence, 
the creation of an empire. Other dependent provinces followed 
the glorious example, and the foundation of a great republic was 
formed. It was essentially and necessarily commercial. Even 
while struggling for liberty, the States created a navy which traded 
with all the world, and established the fame of Dutchmen for na- 
val prowess wherever a sail was unfurled. 

Tlic failure of those who had anticipated a short road by which 
to gain the riches of the East ; t!ie disappointment of the eminent 
navigators Cabot, Frobisher, Willoughby, Davis and others, in 
every attempt to find the much-desired passage by the north-west 
to the Indies, could not allay the thirst of English merchants, 
who, still excited by hope, engaged Henry Hudson, a man who 
had already acquired reputation as a mariner of sagacity and ex- 
perience, to undertake the discovery of this short road to wealth. 

Hudson coasted the shores of Greenland, renewed the discov- 
eries of Spitzbergen ; came within eight degrees of the pole, but 
found himself baffled by ice, and returned discomfited but not 

In the mean time the States of Holland had formed a 
1608 company for traflic and colonization in Africa and Amer- 
ica; called the East India Company. Europe was alive 
to find the predicted short passage to the East, the seat of wealth 
and land of wonders. It was in 160G that Hudson first sailed.* 
In 1608 he again found men in England whose hope he could 
re-animate, and whose prospects of future gain led them to fit out 

* In 1602 Bartholomew Gosnold sailed (March 26th) with thirty colonists for 
America, and made land, May 14th, near Cape Cod. He commenced a settlement 
which failed. In 1608 John Robinson went to Holland. Tyranny in Europe was 
the prime cause of colonization in America. It was during the reign of James the 
Ist of England that the equality of rights (without which man is a slave) began to 
revive from a long torpor in that island. But it was found to flourish better in the 
colonies of the New World than in any part of the Old. " Those,'' says Hume, 
" who were discontented with the established church and monarchy, had sought for 
freedom amidst those savage deserts," meaning North America. James 1st, with 
that generosity which is pleasantly exercised at the cost of others, gave, by patent, 
Acadia and Long Island to the first Earl of Sterling ; but the natives and original 
possessors knew nothing of it. Feeble attempts at colonization were made by the 
French at Port Royal, and by the English on James River. As 1 have to record 
the burning of men at the stake in the city of New York, I will here remind the 
reader, that, in the year 1612, three ?M/Ve christian men — learned and pious men — 
were sentenced in England to be burned as hereticks, that is, for not believing as 
king James the 1st and his bishops believed, or, becoming hypocrites. Two of 
these men, so sentenced, were burned alive at the stake, and the third, for fear of 
fapular opinion, was hid in a dungeon until death released him from tyranny. When 
in New York, a century after, negroes were burnt at the stake, it was not in cold 
blood, but under the influence of panic terror. 


another expedition for the same purpose as the first, and again he 
exerted his skill and periled his life in vain among the regions of 
snow and mountains of ice. His employers were disheartened : not 
so the daundess mariner. He offered his services, made more valu- 
able by experience, to the Dutch East India Company; they were 
accepted, and on the 1th of April, 1609, he made his third voyage 
of discovery. He was accompanied by his son, in the Dutch 
ship, the Half-moon, with a crew of eighteen men, half English 
and half Dutch, and sailed on that voyage which has rendered 
his name immortal, and which gave to the Dutch, according to 
received notions, a just title over an empire in the New 
1609 World. Again, with a perseverance worthy of his em- 
ployers, he sought the passage to India by the north, and 
again he was turned back from Nova Zembla by icebergs and in- 
terminable fields of frozen sea : he shaped his course to the west, 
and passing Greenland and Newfoundland, coasted until he saw 
the promontory of Cape Cod. He called this land, and the region 
beyond it, New Netherland, and Cape Cod was long considered 
by the Dutch as the boundary of their territory to the north-east. 
Hudson supposed that he was the discoverer of the promontory. 
He is believed to have anchored in the mouth of the Penobscot 
river. Sailing south, Hudson found himself opposite the bay of 
Chesapeake, and knowing this was an already occupied region by 
his countrymen, the English, claimed by them and named from 
their virgin queen, he again turned to the north, and discovered 
Delaware bay and river, called by the Dutch South river, and 
considered by them as the boundary of New Netherland in that 
direction. Continuing his course, Hudson saw on the second of 
September, the highlands of Navesink or Neversink. He sup- 
posed, and mankind generally considered, that he was the first 
European who had viewed this prominent land-mark, so familiar 
now to navigators. The voyage of Verrazzano was unknown to 
him. The next day he entered the great bay between Sandy 
Hook, Long Island, Staten Island and Perth Amboy ; into which 
flows the Raritan, Passaic, Hackensack, and part of the mighty 
stream which bears the navigator's name. Well might he linger a 
week in admiration of this beautiful lake-like water, with the un- 
dulating hills of New Jersey on his left, and on his right those 
islands, to one of which hegave the name it still bears, of" Staten." 
Hudson and his Half-moon were no less objects of admiration 
to the natives, than they and their country were to him. The re- 
cords of the Indians gave them no reminiscence of Verrazzano, 
his ship, or his crew ; and the savages saw a moving and floating 
palace in the Half-moon — a Manito in Henry Hudson. He, how- 
ever, was not so fortunate in all his intercourse with the Indians 
as Verrazzano had been. One of his boats, when on an explo- 

liAUiiOUn OF NEW YORK. 33 

ring expedition, perhaps gave offence to some of the natives, and 
by a discharge ot" arrows a seaman ol" tlie name of Coleman, was 
slain. Happily the commander of the ship did not undertake to 
chastise the savages for an act which probably had been provoked 
by the strangers. Coleman was carried to the ship, and next day 
buried. The Indians generally seem to have been ignorant of 
this mishap, for they visited the Half-moon as before, bringing 
fruits, tobacco and maize for the much-admired strangers. 

The journal of the voyage tells us that some of the crew landed, 
and rambled into the woods of Monmouth county without impe- 
diment. Many of the natives visited the ship, bringing, among 
other fruits of their country, dried currants* 8ome were clothed 
in i\)rs, some in dressed skins, and some in feather mantles ;■ 
wearing round their necks copper ornaments, and bearing pipes of 
copper in their hands. 

On the twellth of September, Hudson passed into the haj'bour 
of New York, and entered the mouth oii Dc Gruufe ricicre. If he 
explored the East river, it was done by sending his boats for the 
purpose. Dc Groutc rir'urc was likewise called llie Norfh, as 
distinu-uishino; it from the waters on the eastern side ol' the island. 
During this time, and before sailing up the North livcr, the natives 
brought " Imlian wheat," tobacco, oysters, and whatever they 
thought would be acceptable to the strangers ; and the Indians 
were observed to have " pots of earth to cook their meat in." 

The harbour of New York after passing the Narrows, is bounded 
on the west by the shore of New Jersey, has the island of ^lan- 
hattan in front, or north, and on the east the shore of Long Is- 
land. A reef near the entrance was called after the seal seen on 
it, Rohijii's rift, from the Dutch name for the animal j Covernor's 
Island being covered widi nut trees, was named Niificn (or Nooten.) 
The two small islands of Kllis and Bedlow do not seem to have 
received names at this time, nor long after* 

Turning from Amboy bay, the ii'aritan river, and the 
1G09 inviting channel west of Staten Island, the discovcier 
passed the Narrows, and found himself in one of the 
finest harbours of the world.* He must have seen that the 
south point of Manhattan was by nature intended for a great 
commercial city ; but he at the same time hoped that ho saw- 
in one or the other of the broad waters which flowed on either 

* When HiKlson entered fiis river, if was called by the natives ^rohicaniiiick. or 
Shatinicnt. or Cahohataiea, according, as I suppose, to the tribe who <.'ave the iiifor- 
maiion. And the neiahbpnring naiiruis, he was told, were the Saiichkiecani, Wabanje, 
and Mohawks: the latter being above the Kaatskill. All were on the western bank, 
and so were the Wappinofers. (Wapinga, or Wanbingi.) a numc which Heckewelder 
derives from the opossum. Eboliiig calls the Esopns Indians Wappingees. 
VOL. I. O 


side of this land, the much-desired passage to India.* Though 
dehghted with the reaUties he saw — the goodly oaks and luxuriant 
soil promising a refuge to the oppressed of Europe — a home for 
the liberty of the world — still the object of his search w^as fore- 
most in his m.ind ; and it was not until he had explored the North 
river, that he relinquished the hope of finding here a north-west pas- 
sage to the Indian Ocean. When he had carried the Half-moon up 
to the site of the present city of Hudson, and found himself in 
fresh water, and among islets and sand bars, the visions of eastern 
riches must have given place to the reality of being the first navi- 
gator of this noble river, and conferring on his employers a title, 
as he supposed, to a country unrivalled on the globe. After ex- 
ploring in his boat, perhaps in his ship, as far as the situation at 
present of the city of Albany, and holding intercourse in his pro- 
gress with the friendly natives, Hudson returned to the Man- 
hattoes about the fourth of October ; not far from the time when 
the famous Captain Smith sailed for England from Jamestown, 
and Ciiamplain was invading the Iroquois from Canada, by the 
way of the lake which bears his name.* 

From September tenth to the twenty-second, Hudson had 
felt his way, with line and lead, through the Highlands to the site 
of iVlbany, and again descended to Spikendevil creek and the 
Copsey rocks, on which our southern promenade, once a bat- 
tery, now rests. t To himself, and his crew, all was a scene of de- 
light and wonder, as he explored his own great stream. But I am 
grieved to say, that the lives of eleven of the natives were sacri- 
ficed in his visit to tlie beautiful river. The untamed wilderness 
and the untamed men, were equally objects of admiration. All 
was free to grow, luxuriate, enjoy, and decay as nature dictated. 
In one of the pleasantest months of our many pleasant months, 
did Europeans first see this noble river ; and Hudson returned to 
the island of the INIanhattoes, with ideas of the stream that bears 
his name, and the country through which it rolls, that cannot 
easily be imagined by an inhabitant of the present day. 

* III ihe library of the New York Historical Society, in a MS. by the late Rev. 
Mr. Abpcl, in which lie says, that at the point of Manhattan island, Hudson found a 
fierce and hostile people, but this is contradicted by other statements : on the con- 
trary, Mr. Abecl says, the Indians on the west side of the harbour, about Comuiiipaw, 
came daily on board the Half-moon, and brought oysters, maize, and fruits; and 
here Hudson landed. See Appendix D. 

+ When Hudson, in descending the river, was about the Highlands, some of the 
natives ciine aboard the vessel, who were given rum to drink, and made drunk by 
the crew, I hope, thougii I fear, not without the participation of the Captain. It is 
said that the effect of this poison " astonished the Indians, and filled them with great 
fear." Hajipy would it have been if this dread of the liquor and its efTects, had been 
accompanied by a disgust that could have withstood the seduction of European 


Although Henry Hudson landed on the island of Manhattan, 
before he ascended the great river, and had iiis first interview 
with the assembled Sachems of the adjoining country, as the 
Indians have informed Heckewelder, he certainly did not 
1609 fail to seek the northwest passage through the North river, 
and wheq he opened the sea of Tappan, might have 
imagined that the road to riches was found. 

Long after the days of the discovery of Manhattan, Hudson 
and the Dutch generally, as well as the Indiaus, supposed that the 
Half-moon was the first ship that had been seen by the natives of 
this part of the continent. Of this we have the testimony of 
Vanderdonck, who wrote in 1650. The Indians appear to have 
lost all knowledge of Verrazzano's visit to Sandy Hook, and the 
shores within ; or those who saw him had, in the lapse of years, 
been replaced by other tribes.* 

There can be no doubt that the Delaware Indians had preserved 
the tradition which the reverend Mr. Heckewelder communicated 
to Doctor Samuel Miller, and which is deposited in the Library 
of the New York Historical Society. They described the ap- 

* 1609. Vanderdonck says, that when the Half-moon arrived at the Mew Nethcrland, 
the natives "did not know that there were any oiher people in the world than those 
who were like themselves;"' he says many of them were still living at the time of his 
writing, " with whom" he had conversed. When they first discovered Hudson's 
ship, they "stood in deep and solemn amazement," not kiiowing whether it was an 
"apparition from the world of spirits, or a monster of the sea ; and when they saw 
the men their astonishment was still greater ;" from which the author concludes, " that 
the Netherlanders were the first finders or discoverers and possessors" of the country. 
It appears that in the eyes of Europeans the natives were not considered as either 
discoverers or possessors. But altliough Verrazzano had made his appearance amonir 
these Indians in 15'24, eighty-five years before the arrival of the Half-mooti, neither 
the Dutch voyagers nor the Indians they conversed with had any knowledge of the 
events. Those natives who received the Italian, and his French crew, were no loncrer 
the inhabitants of the shores of New Jersey cr New York ; probably no longer in ex- 
istence ; and no trace would remain of the event among the people seen by Hudsoa 
in 1609, or by Vanderdonck in 1G50. 

Although Doctor Vanderdonck gives as the limits of Nevr Nctherland north and 
south, the sea coast from 38 degrees 53 minutes north to 43 degrees south, yet he 
subsequently says it is bounded " by New England and the Fresh river," (meaning the 
Connecticut river) and in part by the river of Canada or New France (the St. Law- 
rence) and by Virginia. And again ; " north east the New Netherlands butt against 
New England, where there are differences on the subject of boundaries which we wish 
were well settled. On the north the Kiver of Canada stretches a considerable dis- 
tance, but in the north-west it is still undefined and unknown. Many of our Nether- 
landers have been far into the country, more than 70 or 80 miles Irom the river and 
seashore: we also frequently trade with Indians who come more than 10 and 20 
days journey from the interior, and who have been further off to catch beavers, and 
they know of no limits to the country," therefore he concludes, that, " we know not 
how deep or how far we extend inland." Such were the ideas of the learned among 
the Dutch as to the boundaries of New Netherland. At the time Vanderdonck 
wrote there appear to have been many whales on our coast; some occasio ally 
grounded in the shoal waters, when too eager in pursuit of pleasure or food. I am 
indebted for Vanderdonck's History, to a MS. translation by Jeremiah Johnson, Esq. 


pearauce of the Half-moon when first descried approaching from 
sea as that of a wonderful maiine monster ; then they imagined the 
ship was a Hoating house of uncommon magnitude ; at last they 
compared her to a great canoe filled with gods, and directed by the 
great Spirit himself, dressed in scarlet. They said that those 
Indians wlio first saw this awful vision approach, sent ri/ii/iers, 
and messengers in canoes to spread the news, and inform the 
chiefs of the adjacent shores and islands : and that in consequence 
a council of Sachems convened on the point of land, afterwards the 
site of the city of New York, who awaited the appj'oach, and re- 
ceived with propitiatory offerings the great Maiuto in red. They 
said nothing oi" the death of John Coleman, or of any untoward 
occurrence. They described the preparations which were made 
for sacrificing to the great Spirit who had designed to visit them ; 
and he having landed with his attendant spirits, ordered a calibash 
to be brouglit from his moving house, from which he poured a 
liquid into a smaller transparent receptacle, and drank it oft'. 
Affain fillina; the small calibash, he offered it to the Sachem who 
was nearest to him, and he^ after smelling the liquor, passed it to 
another, who did the same, all refusing to drink. At length the 
fatal cup came to the last in the circle, and was still untasted. A 
bold warrior however at last accepted the pledge for fear of of- 
fending the benignant Manito by rejectirig his offering, and rather 
than draw down the wrath of heaven upon the red men, he re- 
solved to risk his own life. He drank the rum. The delete- 
rious poison soon began its operation upon one unaccustomed to 
any stimulants; and while his companions anxiously looked at him 
he began to reel, and soon staggered and fell. They gathered 
about him in sorrow and wonder, and he recovering, described the 
pleasure he received from the intoxicating excitement. All the as- 
sembly then desired to experience the bounty of the red-coated 
Manito^ and all became drunk. In this state of madness, which 
has been the bane of their race, the navigator left them ; and as 
the narrators informed Mr. Heckowelder, die island was called 
by the Indians, Manhattan, or the place of drunkenness, or mad- 
ness by intoxication. An ominous name.* 

The story of the Dutch gaining land for their first establishment, 
trading house, or fort, by cutting the ox-hide into strips, and thus 
surrounding a space sufficient for their purpose, is likewise a tra- 
dition told ty the Delaware Indians to Mr. Heckewelder ; and 
if applicable at all, can only be supposed to have happened at a 
subsequent period, when in 1G15 Christianse visited America, 
and commenced a post for trading. The tradition is, that the Dutch 

* Doctor Barton ffivcs all this scene of drunkenness, hut supposes it happened 
when Verrazzano cannc within the Hook, and long before Hudson. 

FOllTS. 37 

asked, in like manner as did Queen Dido, for as niucli land as 
would I'all wiUiin the circun)ference of an ox-hide ; which being 
granted, they cut the hide carefully into one continuous strip not 
larger than the little finger, and thus encircled a large piece of 
s;round, which the admiring savages willingly gave, j)leased with 
the ingenuity displayed by their visiters. All that renders this 
probable is, that tlie Dutch traders, rather than the Indian narrator, 
should have been familiar with the original story of the foundation 

of Carthao;e. The fact is, that until ]Gl5 the Dutch had 
1G15 made no purchase, nor obtained any permanent footing 

on the island of Manhattan, but at that time, probably imder 
the guidance of Christianse, they purchased a piece of land on the 
bank of the Hudson, and obtained permission to erect a trading 
house, which being guarded by a palisade fence, was called the 
first fort. The situation of this fort was near or on the site of 
what is now Bunker's hotel or boarding house, and immediately 
looking down to the beach. The first real fort, as we shall see, 
was erected in 1623 or 4, and was a square, and on the bank of 
the river where the west wall of Trinity Church burying-ground is 
now. The first piece of soil purchased, extended I'rom the pali- 
sadoed tradino'-honse alono- the bank, to Rector street, and was 
cultivated and used as a garden. I am aware that in the controversy 
between Massachusetts and New York, in 1667, respecting bounds, 
the commissioners of New York admitted that there existed a town 
and fort at New Amsterdam in 1612, when Argal received the 
submission of the man he called governor. But in 1612 the Dutch 
government had neither town nor fort here. Some huts sheltered a 
few unlicensed traders, who probably had a stockade round dieir 
dwellings to protect them from the savages with whom they 

New^ Amsterdam (or New York) was begun by traders, and 
it now flourishes by trade ; but what a difference ! Then a stock- 
ade fort, or a stone wall, a few huts, a single ship, (to which an 
Albany sloop is a floating palace,) beads and shells for money, 
and otter skins and green tobacco for merchandise ! Now, thou- 
sands of palaces, and thousands of vessels, whose long-boats might 
vie with the half-decked shallop of Columbus, banks, mints, bills 
of credit, and specie ; with the manufactures of both hemispheres 
as the articles of commerce. 

To return to Henry Hudson. Sailing back to Europe, 
1610 he brought the Half-moon into the harbour of Dartmouth 

in England, (compelled so to do by his mutinous English 
sailors,) and sent his Dutch employers an account of his discoveries. 
Again the English merchants had their hopes revived of finding the 
much-desired passage by a short road to India, and Hudson was 
again employ^ed by his countrymen for the purpose. On the 17th 

38 Hudson's bay. 

of April 1610, he sailed on his fourth and last voyage, toward the 
North Pole, in the never-dying hope of discovering this imagined 
passage to the Indian Ocean. From April to July, amidst the suf- 
ferings of incessant cold, danger from ice islands and icebergs, 
struggling with disappointment and a mutinous crew, he thought 
himself rewarded for all when he passed the straits that bear his 
name, and saw a clear sea beyond. Into this sea he entered on 
the fifth day of August. To an island which he encountered he 
gave the name of Digges Island, in honour of one of his employ- 
ers. The sailors who were sent to examine this place, reported 
great plenty of game, and the navigator was advised to replenish 
the exhausted stock of food ; but elated with the bright prospect 
before him, he rejected the salutary counsel, and steered on for 
the country of gold and spices. He now felt assured that all his 
dreams were realized. Again he found that his way to India was 
impeded by snow-covered land and ice : he coasted the inhospitable 
shores but found no opening — he was in Hudson's bay. Here 
he wished to remain until spring, still hoping that the opening had 
only eluded his search in consequence of the late season ; but in 
this fatal bay his voyages and discoveries terminated.* 

In the same year that Hudson sailed on his last voyage, 
1610 the merchants of Amsterdam sent out a ship to this coun- 
try ; claiming it as belonging to Holland by virtue of the un- 
fortunate navigator's discoveries. The intention was to trade with 
the natives, others soon followed ; and some few of the adven- 
turers erected huts on the south point of Manhattan Island. 

Samuel Smith, the historian of New Jersey, says, that in a 
pamphlet published in 1648, with a view to oppose the Dutch 
Colony of New Netherland, the author states, that at the time of 
Argal's visit there were " at Manhattan Isle, in Hudson's river," 
but four houses and a pretended Dutch governor, " who kept 
trading boats and trucking with the Indians." Argal made the 
trader pay whatever he pleased to demand as the charges of his 
voyage, and submit to the governor of Virginia. 

The Dutch East India Company, finding that Hudson's 
1614 discovery of the great river gave them no monopoly of the 
trade to New Netherlands, but that private adventurers 
visited Manhattan and the neighbourhood, bearing off furs and 
other produce, applied to the States general for an exclusive pri- 
vilege, on the ground that the discovery was made at their ex- 
pense ; and this privilege was given by the edict of 1614 ; by which 
all persons who might discover new countries should have the ex- 
clusive trade thereto for four years in succession. This was the 

* See Appendix E. 


first exclusive right vested in the citizens of New Amsterdam by 
the repubUc, and was the foundation of the Dutch West India 
Company hereafter mentioned. 

Adrian Block arrived at Manhattan Island for the purpose of 
trading with the Indians for skins, and making further discoveries 
for the Dutch East India Company. By some accident his vessel 
was burned, and he built another; certainly the tii-st sea vessel, how- 
ever small her tonnage, ever built here. With this sea-boat he ex- 
plored the East river and iSound, between the main land and Long 
Island, which the Indians called the Island of Shells. Christianse, 
who was on similar service for the company, met Block somewhere 
about Cape Cod, and they in company explored the coast, and it 
is supposed that diey discovered Newport harbour, where Ver- 
razzano had been long before, and the whole of Narragansett 
bay, to which they gave the name of Nassau. They then re- 
turned to JNIanhattan after entering Connecticut river. 

For the voyages of Christianse and Block, and the first settle- 
ment near Albany, we are indebted to the Albany Records.* 
Christianse sailed up to the neighbourhood of Albany and erected 
Fort Orange, further than this he considered the navigation fit 
for sloops only.t Block and Christianse brought out traders 
who built on Manhattan Island. Block when he sailed through 
Hell-gate (the appellation now fixed on this pass) left his name 
permanently on Block Island. | 

The various distractions in Holland prevented any regu- 
1621 lar attempt at colonizing New Netherland until 1621, and 
Hudson's river was for a time called Mauritius, in com- 
pliment to prince Maurice. 

On the third of June 1621, the States General of Holland 
granted a charter to the Dutch West India Company, (to which 
additions were made two years after,) and in February 1623 an 
act of amplification was given. By this charter and amendment 
a company was authorized to trade with the West Indies, Africa 
and other places ; and all other inhabitants of the United Nether- 

♦ Volume 4. p. 25. 

+ Schenectady was commenced shortly after Christianse planted a colony at Fort 
Orange, acting under the edict of 1614. It a[)pears that this name had been applied 
by the Iroquois to the site of Albany. By degrees the Dutch pushed their settle- 
ments up the valley of the Mohawk to Caughnawahga. But the name of the German 
Flatts evinces the settlement of another race. In the reign of Queen Anne about 
1709, throe thousand Palatines were tran.-:ported to America Those who made 
New York their home, first resided at East Camp, (in the county of Columbia) 
many of them pitched their dwellings near Scoharrie Creek ; and in 1720 they 
spread over the German Flatts. The meeting of West Canada Creek with the 
Mohawk, formed a bottom land which attracted others of the same race. 

X Judge Benson has suggested that instead of the entrance to Erebus, the Dutch 
navigator called the passage between Long and Manhattan Islands, Hdlc-gat, or beau, 
tiful pass. 


lands were prohibited from trade with those places for twenty-four 
years under certain penalties. Articles were aureed u|)on between 
the Dutch \Vest India Company and the States General, and 
approved by the Prince of Orange. In consequence of the above, 
the city of Amsterdam and the West India Company entered 
into articles of agreement with all colonists wishing to go to the New 
Netherlands, by which the burgomasters oi" the city boiuid them- 
selves to find shipping on reasonable terms for the colonists, and 
whatever tliey may carry with them ; to send a schoolmaster and 
religious reader ; to make advances for clothing and other purposes ; 
to erect public buildings and fortifications ; to establish a go- 
vernment, wherein the citizens shall choose their burgomasters, 
their magistrates, a-nd (when there shall be 200 families) a repre- 
sentative council of tvv-enty delegates to be chosen annually. 
Courts of justice were provided, agriculturists were warranted as 
much cultivable land as they could till, free from certain taxes for 
ten years, and from others for twenty.* 

Thus we see that tlie first government of New York was repre- 
sentative in |)art : the colonists governed themselves by magistrates 
elected annually, except as the Director General, or as the agent 
of the West India Company had a supreme control, and the 
common law of the Netherlands was in force. Such was the gov- 
ernment, until overthrown by the English, when the colony was 
subjected to a Govei'uor, appointed by James Duke of York, and 
to the laws called the Duke's Laws. The colony had by this 
time increased, and many English families had mingled with the 
Dutch in New Amsterdam and on Long Island, where townships of 
English from Connecticut, and other parts of New England, had 
been formed. The Duke's government, while he remained a sub- 
ject, was mild : when he ascended the throne of England, it was 
tyrannical. Chancellor Kent, in his anniversary discourse before 
the New York Historical Society, (to whose library 1 am indebted 
for much information relative to this work,) says, " If i do not 
greatly deceive myself, there is no portion .of the Jiistory of this 
country, which is more instructive or calculated to embellish our 
national character, than the domestic history of this state," speak- 
ing of the slate of New York. Again he says, "Our history will 
be found, upon examination, as fruitful as the records of any other 
people, in recitals of heroic actions, and in images of resplendant 
virtue. It is equally well fitted to elevate the pride of ancestry, 
to awaken deep feeling, and enkindle generous emulation." 

In pursuing the lii.story of New York it will be necessary to 
note the col(;nization and progress of other provinces on this con- 

* See Appendix F. 


tinent, and particularly those of New England, whose descendants 
form at this time so great a portion of the population of the state. 
The original setders of New York were such as may he hoasted 
of by their descendants ; and the second race that flowed in upon 
them, and mingled with them, was such as is now remembered 
with just pride : they brought from their native country an equal 
portion of the germs whicli form our present prosperity. 

The causes which produced emigration to the different colonies 
of America, and the various classes of people, as well as motives 
which induced men to leave their European homes, are subjects 
of curious inquiry, and edifying speculation. The puritans, or 
j)ilgrims, who sought a new home, for conscience sake, were peo- 
ple of property and education ; and although some among them 
were men who had attained a degree of eminence, equality of 
rights was the disdnguishing feature of their society. The first 
eastern colonists had the advantage over all the others in those 
qualities which form a republican government, or democracy, 
except the companions of William Penn, who settled Penn- 
sylvania and West Jersey. The first visiters, and settlers of New 
York, those brought out by Block and Christianse, were mere 
traders ; colonization was not iheir object. Traffic alone induced 
them to build huts and store-houses, with a fort to protect the 
goods they brought from home, or those procured by barter from 
the natives. That spii'it, which now fills our streets with ware- 
houses that emulate castles, and dwellings that are palaces ; 
which encumbers our pavements with the most costly fabrics of 
Europe and the Indies ; which has produced banking-houses 
whose vaults overflow with the precious metals, and send forth 
bills of credit that can only be counted by millions and billions ; 
began its operations here, at the south-west extremity of Pearl 
street, (so called as if by inspiration,) and on the banks of the 
North river, conducting its bargains with strings of wampum cut 
from mussel and clam shells. 

Commerce (the parent of national pi'osperity, both here and in 
the fatherland, Holland ; the root of that prosperity which has creat- 
ed navies, not to destr-oy but bless mankind,) began its operations 
here, at the point of the island of Manhattan : it has covered the 
black rocks with pleasure-walks and groves, the whole island and 
its surrounding waters with fixed or floating palaces, and no lon- 
ger confined to the Coj), extends its influence to every 
region of the globe. 

VOL. 1. 



Colonization of New England — Intimate connection icith tlie Dutch 
of Nciv York — Massachusetts — Permanent settlement of Netv 
Ncthcrland — Silas Wood — Long Inland — The Fatroons — 
Peter Minuits — Van TiviLler — The Swedes — Gustavus 

We will now turn to the cast, and note the colonization 
1610 of New England. The royal and ecclesiastical tyranny 

in England, drove Mr. Robinson and his congregation to 
Leyden, where they found an asylum with the Dutch protestant 
republicans. Cardinal Bentevoglio denominates these pious and 
exemplary people, " a body of English hereticks, called Puritans, 
who had resorted to Holland for the purposes of commerce." 
The intention of many puritans of England was to seek a refuge 
in Virginia ; but a royal proclamation forbade any of the king's 
subjects to settle in that country without express permission from 
their master, James the first. 

The Mayflower arrived at Plymouth in die year 1020. 
1G,20 The puritan colony saw in the land of their exile nothing 

to cheer them ; but they had that within which supported 
them under all trials, and " passeth show." 

On the eleventh of November the pilgrims had landed some 
men at Cape Cod, but relinquishing this as the place of settle- 
ment, diey, on the eighth of December, set foot on Plymouth 
Rock. Of one hundred and one who then arrived, only fifty-five 
survived to the foIlowin<r March.* 

* There is a story told by J. Grahame, and others, that the Dutch caplain who 
carried the puritans from Leyden, had been bribed by the government of Nellier- 
laiid or the West India Company, to carry the pilgrims, contrary to their intention, to 
the north of New Amsterdam. They give as authorities, Mather, Neal, lluchinson, 
and Oldmixon. But the patent of the pilgrims contradicts the falsehood ; as does 
their declaration to thq envoy sent from New Ncthcrland to congratulate them on 
their arrival. There are many assertions in MvSS., and in print, against my opinion, 
which my readers may examine, as " Morton's Memorial," " History of the Puri- 
tans," "New England Chronology," " Huchiiison's Massachusetts," " Holmes' An- 
nals," "Massachusetts History," &c. But I hold to my assertion both as consonant 
to the Dutch character, and to the truth. Many of these fables were ])ropagated at 
a time when the Dutch and English claims to New Netherland were sulijects of 
bitter controversy. See likewise, "I'Hiatoire Generale des Voyages, ton). 21, |). 280,"' 
where the reader will find it said that the puritans had ciiosen for themselves between 
Connecticut river and the Hudson, near the county of Fairfield. 


Tlie second vessel, tlie Fortune, arrived in 1G22, and 
1622 only bronglii mouths to be led by those who had no bread. 
On hearing that three luuidrecl and forty-seven of the Vir- 
ginia colonists had been cut off by the natives at Jamestown, the 
pilgrims built themselves a fort, the lower part of which was a 
place of worship : they prospered through alldifliculties; they were 
a democracy; their government, the whole peo[)le assembled. 
tSlandisli was elected their military chief.* Bradford was chosen 
a magistrate. t 

The pilgrims came to find a place of refuge from European 
oppressors : to live and be free. The original compact had been 
signed on the deck of the Mayflower, by all the males of adult 
age, and the first signer was the chosen governor. Carver : this 
continued long to be the constitution of Plymouth colony. J 

The Dutch of New Netherland sent an honourable agent, 
shortly after the arrival of their friends at Plymouth, to congratu- 
late them, by speech and letters, on their happy establishment, 
and offered them assistance, good will and brotherly intercourse. 
The agent was received with honour and cordiality, the English 
puritans returned a friendly answer, and expressed their gratitude 
for the hospitality experienced from the Dutch when received, 
jjrotected and employed by them in their native land. This alone 
is sufficient to contradict the notion of the jiilgrims having been 
betrayed and misled to a country at a distance from New Nether- 
land, a story repeated even by the historian Robertson : but Mr. 
Robinson, and all his intelligent people, knew full well the extent 
of the Dutch claims in America, and the state of their colony, and 
sought for themselves a place of refuge, in which to establish a 
civil and religious government according to their own notions, 
and distinct from any then existing. They solicited, and obtained 
the sanction of England to their intended colony, and they pro- 
cured a patent from the Plymouth Company of a place under 
English jurisdiction. A few years after, an association of puri- 

* His sword is preserved by the Massachusetts Historical Societv, as is that of 
Smith, by the Historical Society uf Virginia. 

t Peregrine White was the first English child born in the colony, and lived until 

t Carver and Standish were elected magistrates by the majority. Trial by 
iury was ordained in 1623: the first offence tried was murder, and the criminal was 
executed. A legislative assembly for all the Plymouth towns was held in 1637. In 
1643 took place the union or confederacy of the New England towns or colonics, 
for already the English had extended far to the south. This was the first step to the 
union of independence. In 1691 the old government of Plyinouth inerged at the 
age of 71 into the colony of Massachusetts. The New Netherlands had so much to 
do with New England, that to understand the history of New York, the eastern settle- 
ments must not be neglected. 


tans was formed by the reverend Mr. White, a noncon- 
1627 forming clergyman of Dorchester, who apphed to the same 

company from which the settlers of Plymoutli had obtained 
their patent, and purchased a tract of land (not on Hudson's river 
or near it) lying from three miles north of the river Meriimack, to 
nine miles south of Charles river in Massachusetts bay, "and ex- 
tending from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean." These men evi- 
dently avoided, and meant to avoid interference with the Dutch of 
New Neiherland. John Endicot led them safely to Massachu- 
setts, where others joined them, and a charter was obtained from 
Charles the first, so liberal as only to be accounted for by suppos- 
ing that at this period he wished to get rid of troublesome enemies 
to his ecclesiastical pretensions. This policy was not subsequently 
followed by Charles, or he would not have retained to his cost, 
Cromwell, Hampden, Hazelrigg and Pym. Another company of 
puritans settled at Salem, and adopted the rules for civil and reli- 
gious government of their brethren of Plymouth ; but two of the 
emigrants dissented from the rest and were sent back to England. 
It was at this time believed possible that all the members of a 
community could think alike ; and differences of opinion were not 

It is to be remembered that in 1G29 the English took 

1629 Quebec,* and almost immediately restored it to France by 
the treaty of St. Germains. Thus Charles, by confirm- 
ing the French power in Canada, planted the tree of evil whose 
fruits were shed liberally over New England and New York. 

In 1630 the general court of Massachusetts chose their 

1630 own governor and council. Boston and the neighbouring 
towns were settled by emigrants from England. The small- 
pox swept off the natives, and made room for the strangers who 
had purchased their lands, and introduced pestilence among them 
without any ill design in either. 

* Kirk was the En:ili-h commander that at this time took Quebec. Champlaiii 
proposed to surrender on the nineteenth of July 1G29, provided, first, that Kirk showed 
his commission, second, that a vessel should he given to the French to go home ; 
not only for the garrison, but for tiie priests, Jesuits and two squaws that had been 
given to !\Ir. Champiain iwo years before by tlie Indians. Third, that the garrison 
should go out wiih arms and every kind of niovealiles without hindrance. Fourth, 
that provisions should be furnished for the voyage to France in e.xchange for furs. 
Kirk replied that his commission was at Tadoussac,a trading port lower down the St. 
Lawrence, where the French were to embark for Europe, and there his brother would 
show it ; thai he could not give the French a vessel, but they could entragc one atTa- 
doussac, for their purpose, first to carry them to England and then to France ; '' As to the 
squaws," he says. " I cannot let them go, for reasons which I will tell you when I see 
you ; as to arms and baggage, and furs or skins, I grant that these gentlemen (Champiain 
and Dc Pont) sIi.tU take the arms, clothes and skins belonging to them ; the soldiers 
each one his clothes, with one robe dc castor and nothing else; as to the fathers, ihev 
must be content with their cassocks and their books." 


The freedom of the colony was denied to all \vlio were not re- 
ceived into llie church: thus the ministers were vested with power 
not purely spiritual. The amiable Kobinson had admonished his 
people that more trutli would come. He did not think that zV, or 
the bearers ofit^ should be rejected: yet Roger Williams, the good, 
the liberal, the charitable, coidd not be endured. Williams had 
found mure truth, and brought it to the puritans ; but they could 
not receive it, (or could not see it,) and he became the bene- 
factor of Rhode Island. He planted the tree of toleration, whose 
fruits have blessed the land which drove him forth. By rapid 
progress the English spread until they encountered the Dutch 
settlers on Fresh river, (now Uie Connecticut) Long Island and 
New Haven. 

This brief notice of the progress of New England is for from 
being foreign to my main subject, before returning to which I must 
notice that in 1630 the inhabitants of Massachusetts yet struggling 
for bread, devoted 400 pounds sterling to the establishment of 
the University of Cambridge. iJut ten years had passed from 
the arrival of the Mayflower and first settlement of Plymouth, when 
thepuritants amidst every difticulty that surrounded them, remem- 
bered that education could alone be the foundation of a republic. 
They proved that they deserved, and they were determined, to be 

To return to the IManhattoes. In the same year that 
1610 Hudson sailed on his last voyage, some of the merchants 

of Amsterdam sent out a ship for traffic, lo the country 
claimed by Holland in virtue of tlie great navigator's discovery in 
1609. The trade for peltries was profitable, and other adven- 
turers followed. Next year Block and Christianse brought out 

more adventurers protected by an edict of the States-ge- 
1614* neral, and shortly after the settlement on the island called 

sometimes Castle Island in the Hudson, (which led to 
the beginning of Albanyt on the main land a little furdier north,) 
was commenced. 

The year 1623, as already remarked, may he consi- 
1623 dered as the era of permanent settlement in the New Ne- 

therland, Peter Minuits, the agent of the Dutch West 

* 1614. "When Block's vessel was burnt bv accident at Manhattan, he bnilt a 
yatch, 38 feet keel, 44.^ feet on deck and 11^ feet beam ; and with this vessel De 
Laet says, " he sailed through //c//c-irrt/ into the {jfreat bay," the Sound. He was 
joined by Christianse off Cape Cod, they discovered as they thought, Rhode Island 

t The site of Albany was called by the Iroquois Scaghiicahtadv. Castle Island 
was abandoned in 1617, when found to be subjected to the floods of the river. 
An important evetit now took place, which was a solemn league of friendship between 
the Netherlandcrs and the Iroquois The latter gained the use of fire-arms to re- 
plusc their Canadian enemies, and the French; the latter, besides the advantages of 
trade, made friends, who were long a rampart to the New Netherlands and New York. 


India Company was governor, or Director-general for six years, 
under tlie grant Ironi the States-general in the year iG21. Corne- 
lius Mey (who has lelt his name on one of the capes) visited 
South river, since known as the Delaware, the same year that 
Minuits canie out, and Mey built fort JXassau on Timber Creek, 
wliich enters the river a few miles below Cambden. 

The colony of New Netherland increased under the 
1625 government of Minuits ; and the city of New Amsterdam 
grew under the government established, which was as re- 
publican as could be where the chief executive magistrate was 
appointed by others. After the Dutch under the West India Com- 
pany, had permission from the natives to build a fort on the island 
of Manhattan, which I presume to have been under the govern- 
ment of iNlinuits, they erected a regular square, as the reverend 
Mr. Abeel tells us in his MS. which I find in the New York His- 
torical Library. This corresponds with my opinion that the wall, 
or foundation which was discovered near the bank of the river 
on the site of the present cemetery of Trinity church, was part 
of the fort erected about the year 1623. But it is not likely 
that the first traders were altogether without defence, and I find 
that they had a stockade enclosure on the bank between the above 
square fort and the point of the island ; for the idea of fortii'ying 
the bluff was not suggested until the time when Van Twiller 
erected the permanent fortress called Fort Amsterdam. The 
government under Minuits was according to the plan proposed by 
the city of Amsterdam.* The people, that is, the freeholders, 
chose the schepen and the council of twenty, and it was only the 
Director-general who was appointed, independent of their will, by 
the authorities in Europe; but his powers were so great that when 
the English conquest took place, and the colony was transferred 
to James Duke of York, the people willingly underwent the change. 
But under Minuits none of the inhabitants of New Netherland 
had cause to complain except the beaver and others whose skins 
enriched'the Dutch merchants: the slaughter of these increased 
rapidly, notwithstanding which the Dutch West India Company 
failed in about ten years after taking charge of New Amsterdam. 
Few agriculturists yet came to the new colony, but among 
them was, in 1625, a colony of Walloons who took up lands 
and began to cultivate at the Wallabout on Long Island ; and 
from them the name is derived {JJaale hoght.f) Thus, at this 
time was the city of Brooklyn begun ; and the same year the 
first white child born in New Netherland saw the light, at the Waale 

* See Appendix F. 

t Hct-ioaalc Boght. meaning ilie Walloons bay. 


Boglit; this was Sarah Itapelye* the daughter of John ; the second 
was given to tlie same Walloon laniily at the same place, and 
from her is descended the present worthy mayor (lS;j!J) of the city 
of Brooklyn. t 

The Honorable Silas Wood, whose authority is unquestionable, 
tells us, that when Europeans first saw Long Island it was very 
clear from wood, in consequence of tlie Indian custom of burning 
off the brush ^.ud underwood. 

I find from another record a memorandum of the n:ianner in 
which agricultural, or farming transactions were carried on in 
these primitive times. " Wouter Van Twiller let George Jansen 
de Rapelye have two cows for four years, and then to be returned 
with half the increase."! 

The Dutch colonists of New Netherland sent the second in 
command as their envoy to the Plymouth colony with congratu- 
lations, and friendly offers of intercourse and assistance. Jl. De 
Razler was received with honour by the pilgrims, who acknow- 
ledged their foimei obligations to the Dutch, and professed their 
gratitude. The courteous envoy invited the English to a better 
soil than they were cultivating, denoting that of Hartford; and 
the English advised their nei<ihbours to secure their claim to the 
Pludson, by application to England and a piu'chase or treaty, for 
they were not ignorant that their country claimed the Dutch pos- 
sessions, on the ground of first discovery by Cabot. Every 
friendly demonstration attended the visit ol De Razier; but the 
pilgrims requested the Dutch not to send their 5Z:/^s into the Nar- 
ao-ansetts for beaver skins. 

* Peter Vroom of Raritari, in a letter to Egbert Benson, dated November 
the eiizhiecnth 1813 says, "your Society (the Historical of New York,) have pub- 
lislied the day of the birth of Sarali Rapelye, the first white child born in the vicinity 
of New York. An account not only of her birth and marriages, but also of the num- 
ber and names of her immediaic descendants, with other particulars, having been 
found anionji the papers of my father-in-law, Guysbert Bogart, deceased, a great 
grandson of the said Sarah Rapelye by her second marriage, 1 apprehend it might af- 
ford the society some pleasure to have a few of the particulars, I have therefore made 
the following extract from the same. Sarah Rapelye was born on the seventh of 
June 1625, (difFering two days from the account published) and was twice married. 
The lirst husband was Hans Hanse Bergen, by whom she had six children, nained 
Michael Hanse. .Tan Hanse, Jacob Hanse. Hrechje Hanse and Marvtje Hanse. Her 
second husban<l was Tennis Guysbertsc Bogart, by whom she had also si.x children, 
named Aurtia Bogart, Antje Bogart, Neelje Bogart, Aultjc Bogarf, Caiclynije Bon-art 
and Guy.sbert Bogart, who was the grandfather of my father-in-law Guvsbert Bogari. 
The account also contains the names of the persons to whom eleven of her children 
were married, and where they settled, and states that the twelfth, namely, Brechje 
Hanse. removed to Holland." In the Dutch records, letter P. or Vol. eleven, at Al- 
bany, it. is stated that this same Sarah the first, was a widow by the name of Forey, 
with seven children ; and at the age of thirty-one in consideration of her situation 
and births. Governor Stuyvesant granted to her the vallev adjoining her patent. 

t General Jeremiah Johnson. 

J See Appendix G. 


Tlie Dutch West India Company, by aulliority of the States, 
granted to certain persons, on condition that any one of them 
shoidd, within four years, plant a colony of fifty persons over fif- 
teen years of age, within the New Netlierland, lands to the extent 
of sixteen miles in length, or if on a river, eight miles on each 
bank, (the widtli in the interior undefined,) the Indian right to 
be purchased from tliem by the grantee ; and the island of xMan- 
hattan reserved to the company. These leaders of colonies were 
called Fatroojis.* 

The four first great Fatroons were Samuel Godyn, Samuel 
Bloemart, M. Pauw, and Kilian Van Rensselaer. Godyn and 
131oemart united, and obtained the first deed for land in Dela- 
ware. Godyn purchased from the natives the soil from Cape 
Henlopen to the Delaware river ; a territory of more than thirty 
miles, which purchase was ratified and duly recorded. This now 
constitutes the two lower counties of the state of Delaware. The 
patroons likewise bought the opposite shore of New Jersey ; and 
one of them, M. Pauw, purchased the soil on the west bank of 
Hudson's river and of New Amsterdam bay, behind Hoboken, 
extending on the shore to the kills, with all Staten island, and the 
whole territory was called Pavonla. The agent of Mr. Van 
Rensselaer pitched his tents on the Hudson from Fort Orania (or 
Albany,) to the mouth of the Mohawk river. Of the four patroons 
the name of Van Rensselaer is tlieonly one now known, and that 
is known in tiie most advantageous manner as the name of men, 
patriots, and true philanthropists. 

These four original patroons, in tlie first place, sent out agents 
to secure places for their colonists, in consequence of a de- 
cree, or regulation, made by a council of nine, wdio were entrust- 
ed with the management of c;olonizing New Netherland, which 
decree gianted privileges to those who as patroons, or private in- 
dividuals, should carry out and plant bodies of settlers. 

By this decree the agent of the patroon, having selected the land 
for the colony, four years were granted for perfecting the settle- 
ment. The patroon might hold his land as an eternal heritage, 
devisable by testament, with certain other provisions ; among 
which, he might, if he founded a city, appoint oflicers and magis- 
trates. The services of the colonists, or servants of the patroons, 
were assured to them by the government. 

It was provided, that as the company intended to people the 
island of Manhattoes first, all colonial productions intended for 
exportation, should be brought thither, the patroons having pri- 
vileges of trade, by paying five per cent on goods brought to Man- 

♦ See Appendix H. 


hattoes for exportation to Holland. The patroons held courts on 
their domains, but an appeal lay to the Director-general for all 
sums over fifty guilders, (twenty dollars eighty-three cents.) 

Individuals wishing to settle lands might take up as much as 
they could cultivate, and they had a variety of privileges for 
fishing, hunting, mining, &c. 

It was stipulated that colonists, not on Manhattan island, should 
extinguish the Indian claims, and that they should, as soon as 
practicable, establish a minister and a schoolmaster. Wouter Van 
Twiller came out as the agent for the four patroons, and having 
arranged the various tracts for his employers, returned to Holland. 
It was on the disagreement between Peter JNIinuits and the com- 
pany, that Van Twiller returned as the Director-general or 
Governor of New Netherland. 

In the year lG2o De Laet, a director of the West India Com- 
pany, published his book on the New World. He endeavoured 
to invite colonists by describing the New Netherlands as a para- 
dise, where nothins: was wanting but what it was the interest of 
the settler to transport thither ; but it was only by the union of the 
author with Kilian Van Rensselaer and others, that colonization 
was thrifty in and about New Amsterdam. 

By MSS. deposited in the New York Historical Society, 
1G31 and by others submitted to Mr. Moulton the historian, it 
appears that Kilian Van Rensselaer purchased from the 
Indian owners the lands extending on both sides of the river, 
from Fort Orange or Albany, to a small island at the mouth of the 
Mohawk river, and paid in goods. 

These great purchases by the patroons were not favourable to 
the settlement of the country by independant cultivators. There 
was dissatisfaction among the purchasers ; and the colonists sent, 
or brought over, were poor dependants, who became tenants to 
the proprietors of the soil. These great landholders were direc- 
tors of the West India Company, and Kilian Van Rensselaer in 
particular, was an opulent merchant of Amsterdam. They asso- 
ciated for mutual benefit; and Godyn having been informed that 
whales were plenty about Delaware bay, and both whales and seals 
frequent near New Amsterdam, the associates fitted out an expe- 
dition for whaling and colonization, and induced David Petersen 
De Vries to become commander, and sundry other persons to 
take shares. De Vries (who is sometimes called Petersen and 
sometimes David Petersen Van Hoorn,) arrived in Delaware 
early in 1631, and erected a fort in that part called Hooren Kill, 
or Swanendel. Houses were built and agriculture began in the 
spring. This plantation was within Godyn's purchase, and (as 
Fort Nassau had been abandoned,) was the only European settle- 
ment in Delaware. Mr. Moulton has sufficiently proved that the 

VOL. I. 7 


Swedes did not settle there until 1638, (which agrees with Du- 
jjonceau,) owing to the engagements and death of Giistuvus 

Tlie pleasant sounding name ol' Pavonia no longer designates 
the territory of patroon Pauw, but perhaps his name is found in 
that of a township or village on the border of our bay, where the 
primitive Dutch dress and manners, have continued with the lan- 
guage Httle changed, to this time. The often, without cause, ridi- 
culed, name of Communipauw, seems to mark the Commune^ 
or community, planted there by the patroon Pauw. Rensselaerwyk, 
and the venerable Colonic^ are never mentioned without suggesting 
the virtues of one patroon ; and perhaps Communipauw may be 
entitled to the respectful attention of the New York antiquary. 

Messrs. Godyn, Bloemart, and Van Rensselaer made the first 
settlement in Delaware, and the historian De Laet was one of the 
proprietors under them. This colony was antecedent to any in 
Pennsylvania or New Jersey, and was led by De Vries, who has 
written an account of the voyage, which is to be found in the 
Philadelphia library. By this voyage, the Netherlanders were the 
first occupants of Delaware. De Vries left the Texel on the 
12th December, 1630 ; ascended the river as high as the site of 
Philadelphia ; and as Fort Nassau, mentioned above, had been 
previously abandoned, all this country was in possession of the 

De Vries, after residing a year with his colonists, re- 
1632 turned home, and again coming to visit them, found no 
remains but the bones of his countrymen. In the account 
of his voyage, as translated by Dr. G. Troost of Philadelphia, the 
navigator says, " We sounded at thirty-nine degrees, iiad fifty- 
seven fathoms — sand — and smelled land, (the wind being N. W.) 
occasioned by the odour of the underwood, which at this time of 
the year," December, " is burned by the Indians in order to be 
less hindered in their hunting. The 3d, we saw the opening of 
the south bay or south river. We went the 5th in the bay. We 
had a whale near the vessel. We promised ourselves great tilings 
— plenty of whales, and good land for cultivation." They found the 
unburied remains of their former comrades ! A quarrel had oc- 
curred between them and the Indians, who, repenting dieir first 
hospitality, flew to arms and massacred the intruders before they 
had become strone enou2;h to become masters of both natives and 
soil. As the Europeans tell the story, the natives purloined a 
plate of metal on wliich the arms of the States-general were en- 
graved, and afilxed it to a column, as a token that they had certain 
chxims to the soil according to European usage. It is more pro- 
bable that the Indians, by this inscription and column, had their 
suspicions awakened, that the country was claimed as being under 


the dominion of foreigners, when the natives, by selling the land, 
never meant to resign themselves or their country to any foreign 
autiiority whatever. Tiie result was the destruction of the in- 

In the meantime, Peter Minuits, wlio had been the first Direc- 
tor-general at New Amsterdam, and had superintended the colony 
formed upon the plan of 1621, having some disagreement with the 
Dutch West India Company, returned to Holland, and the se- 
cond Director-general, Wouter Van Twlller, arrived in 
1633* this year. De Vries finding only the ruins of his colony 
in Delaware, and narrowly escaping what is called the 
perfidy of the natives, sailed north, after visiting Virginia, and ar- 
rived at New Amsterdam shortly after Governor Van Twiller, 
under whose administration, this year, the fort or trading-house of 
Good Hope was built on Fresh river, within the precincts'iof the 
present city of Hartford. t The Netherlanders had not only dis- 


A list of the returns 

from New Nctherland. 



otters. Guilders. 

In 1624 


700 27125 



463 35825 



857 45050 



370 56420 



734 61075 



681 62185 



1085 63012 



546 94925 


1115 48200 



1383 91375 



1413 134925 


" Cost of New Nelhcrland, now New York. 

"The Dutch West India Company failed in 1634 ; and from a statement of their 
accounts drawti up in 1635, (part of which was in possession of Mr. Henry Kip, late 
of New York, deceased, and from which this extract is made,) it appears that Fort 
Amsterdam in New Netherland, cost the company 4,172 guilders, 10 stuyvers, and 
that New Netherland, (the province) cost 412,800 guilders 11 stuyvers." — Hazard. 
t But the Dutch were soon conscious of the designs of the New England settlers. 
for in 1635 Hooker and Haynes conducted a colony of puritans to Fresh river, and 
planted them as neighbours to the Netherlanders ; this was the commencement of 
the colony of Connecticut. The Dutch fort long remained in the possession of the 
original planters, but surrounded and sorely annoyed by English towns. In 1G35 
(July 7th) Lord Say and Seal, Sir Arthur Hazelrigg. Sir Richard Saltonstal, Messrs. 
Lawrence, Dailey, and Fenwick, appointed John Winlhrop, jun. " Governor of the 
river Connecticut in New England," for one year ; there to advance " the company's 
service." He was instructed as " soon as he comes to the bay." to provide at least 
tifty men to build houses and make fortifications "at the river Connecticut and har- 
bour adjoining." They arc to build first " for their own present accommodation, and 
then such houses as may receive men of quality,''' the latter, within the fort. The 
planters are to "plant themselves" at the harbour or near the mouth of the river. 
One thousand or fifteen hundred acres are to be reserved adjoining the fort for its 
maintenance. > 


covered this river, but had actually purchased the lands adjacent, 
on the 8th January, 1633, for the States-general, by their agent 
Jacobus Van Curies. 

The Indians called themselves Seqvdlns, and the river Sivacok, 
In the October following, the Dutch protested againsi William 
Holmes, who as commander or leader of men from Plymouth, 
" built a house on the Fresh river." They desiredhim to desist, 
but he continued to occupy the land previously purchased by the 
Netherlanders, and to cultivate and build as though on his own 
property, and in a short time Hartford arose, and the Dutch found 
themselves enclosed by English plantations and an English town. 
Soon after the arrival of Van Twiller he appears to have 
1634 conmienc^ed agriculturist. One of his plantations was at 

Red Hook. Governors Island, which is supposed always 
from the first settlement, to have been a perquisite of the Director- 
general for the lime being, wgs so near Red Hook that cattle 
crossed the channel to and fro at low water. This channel has 
since become a passage for vessels, and is known under the name 
of Buttermilk channel. It has been formed by washing away the 
Jands of Long Island and part of Van Twiller's plantation. Under 
his administration both Dutch and English villages were settled 
on Long Island, and the land at Harlaem was purchased from 

the Indian claimants. Flatlands, first called Amersfort. 
1636 was commenced. The inhabitants of each town, settled 

by the Enghsh, adopted or framed laws for their own gov- 
ernment : they armed themselves and made military regulations 
for defence against the Indians ; they established courts to prevent 
f^nd punisl] crimes; they had trial by jury when required, the 
jury consisting of seven, and a majority deciding the question; 
they had town meetings which imposed taxes and appointed tax- 
gatherers. Each town judged of the character of any person propo- 
sing to become a member, and admitted or excluded him as his 
standing and opinions suited them. The New England colonies 
and the Englisli towns of Long Island were peopled by republicans 
driven from Great Britain by civil and ecclesiastical tyranny.* 

* In 1636 a warrant was given to the Lord Admiral to stop all ministers who are 
unconformahlr to the discipline and ceremonirs of the rhtrch, from transporting them- 
selves to tlic Slimmer islands and other of his majesty's plantations abroad, "where 
they lake liberty to nourish and preserve their factions and schistnatical humours, to 
the hindrance of pood conformity and unity in the church." Therefore, no clergy- 
man IS to be henceforth permitted to go abroad to said places, without permission of 
the archbishop of Canterbury and bishop of London. 

Rushwnrth says, " The severe censures of the Star Chamber, and the greatness- of 
the fines, &c. and suspending and silencing multitudes of ministers for not reading 
in the church, the book for sports to be exercised on the Lord's day, caused many of 
the nation, both ministers and others, to sell their estates and set sail for New Eng- 
land, (a late plantation in America,) where they hold a plantation by patent from the 

In 1637 the English government seem to have been alarmed by the great num- 


Although the Dutch visited the Delaware for the pur- 
1637 poses of trade, no effort at colonization was made from 
1633 to 1637, about which time the Swedes sent out a 
colony to that part of New Netherland : they were led and directed 
by Peter JNIinuits, who had been dismissed from the service of 
Holland, and now arrived in the Delaware. 

The heroic champion of protestantism, Gustavus Adolphus, 
had long before lent his name and influence to colonizing Ameri- 
ca, as a place of refuge for the oppressed of the reformed religion : 
but the call he received from Germany for the protection of the 
same cause and its suffering adherents, deferred his plans. After 
his wonderful German conquests, made not like those of pre- 
ceding conquerors, over undisciplined multitudes — not like the 
triumphs of Alexander, and other leaders of well appointed 
bodies of men, trained to war over hordes without knowledge or 
practice in the science of man-killing — but victories obtained over 
those best instructed and flushed with success in battles innu- 
merable ; the soldiers of Tilly, confident in their leader, inured 
to carnage and delighting in blood. Gustavus conquered, solely 
by the justice of his cause, the favour of heaven, a gigantic genius 
and the valour of his hardy Swedes ; and after these heroic 
achievements, which resulted in the death of the hero, at Lutzen, 
in the arms of victory, his worthy minister, Oxenstiern, renewed 
the design of an American settlement, the conduct of which was 
entrusted to Mimdts. He sailed with two vessels, the " Key of 
Colmar," and the " GrifUn." He entered the Delaware, and 
purchased from the Indians the lands from the southern cape, 
which the Swedes called "Point Paradise," to the Falls of Tren- 
ton. About this time fort Christina was erected at the creek of 
the same name. 

The liberal views of the Swedes, (particularly on the subject of 
slavery,) were avowed. The Netherlanders made use of slave- 
labour from the commencement of their colonial speculations ; 

ber of people who left the country to go to the plantations ; and the 30th April the 
king issued his proclamation against the disorderly transporting his subjects to the 
plantations, he having been informed that great numbers of his subjects are every 
year transported into those parts of America which hare been granted by patent to 
several persons, and these subjects transported or transporting themselves for the pur- 
pose of living " without the reach of authority ;" he therefore commands all officers, 
&c. not to permit any persons, being "subsidy men," to embark at any port, &c., 
without certificate of conformity to the church of England. And on the 1st May, 
1638, " the privy council made another order for reasons importing to the state, best 
known to themselves, to stay eight ships now in the river Thames, prepared to go for 
New England, and for putting on land all the passengers and provisions, &.c. And 
forasmuch as his majesty knows the factious dispositions of a great part of the peo- 
ple of that plantation, prohibits all ships to set forth" with passengers for New Eng- 
land without permission from the lords of the privy council. 

54 KIEPT. 

and like other people, English as well as other European na- 
tions, seem to have thought the traffic in men as lawful as any 
other. As early as 1620, the Dutch carried a cargo of African 
slaves to Virginia. The tohacco and other plantations at INIan- 
hattoes, were cultivated by negroes; but we must remember that 
long after this, when the good queen Anne was establishing 
churches in the English colonies, she was no less active in prose- 
cuting the trade in Africans, and in introducing slaves to her Amer- 
ican dominions. It is only the more remarkable and worthy of 
admiration, that the Swedes at the early period of which we are 
treating, should have avowed their intention of eschewing the evil; 
and 'should have seen the policy of a contrary practice. They 
declared their intention to cultivate their lands by the labour of 
freemen. " Other nations," they said, " employed slaves ; the 
Swedish people are laborious and intelligent ; and surely we shall 
gain more by the efforts of the free who labour for their wives, 
their children and themselves." 

About the same time that Sir William Kieft arrived* 
1638 at New Amsterdam, and superseded Van Twiller in the 
directorship, Minuits arrived with a ship of war and a 
transport, and planted the Swedish colony at Christina. With 
the emigrants came out a minister and an engineer. They first 
landed at Cape Henlopen. Kieft considered this as an intrusion 
upon his territories, and sent a remonstrance to the Swedes. At 
the same time he found himself daily more and more crowded by 
the ever thriving colonies of New England, particularly Con- 

Already the territories of the Pequot Indians had been declared 
the just and rightful property of the English colonists by conquest. 
On the twentieth day of September, " at a general court," it was 
declared, that " whereas the lord had delivered the Pequots into 
the hands of the court, and thereby given Vijust tide to all their 
lands both at Pecoit and Quinapiack, and the parts bcyovd toumds 
the Dutch, the court declares that they and their ^^ associates iqwn 
Connecticut,'''' have "just right and title" to " all the said lands 
and territories." They accordingly proceed to appoint a time 
for the planting or settling this territory, to pay by sales to the set- 
tlers a part of the expense of the war of conquest. It is well 
to notice, that it was onlv in 1635 that the Massachusetts emi- 

* In this year the first printing press was sent out to British America, and in 1639 
the first printing was done ; whereas in Mexico, Mr. Thomas in his History of print- 
ing, tells OS, that a press was set up in 1569, and Gazettes published in the seven- 
teenth century. The .first Gazette of the English colonies was the Boston News 
Letter in 1704. Samuel Greene commenced printing in Cambridge in 1639, and his 
son Bartholomew printed the first Gazette in English America at Boston on the seven- 
teenth of April, 1704 on a half sheet of" pot paper." 


grants, who, under the directorsliip of Kieft's predecessor, Van 
Tvviller, had purchased the lands claimed by tlie Dutch on Con- 
necticut river, from the Pequots, who, led by their chief Sasaciis, 
had driven off the native chiefs, and had a just claim by conquest 
to this territory; but Sasac us having quarrelled, or being driven 
into hostilhies wuh the English, he and his Pequots were sub- 
jugated, and the above just title is given to the people of jNevv 


Teyidency which the ignorant have in all ages to icorship idols oj' 
their own making — Universality of Negro Slaveni in the hegin- 
ning oj'the seventeenth ccnturij—^Superiority of Eastern Colo- 
nists — Absurdity of a community of yroperty in mixed societies 
— The population of New Amsterdam — State of society under 
Sir WiUiam Kieft — Various cncroacJunents upon his jurisdic- 
tion — Canadian affairs — Foundation oJ' tlic enmity home by the 
Troquois to the French. 

The disposition (caused by an ignorance of their rights and 
power) which mankind have ever evinced to worship the jugger- 
nauts who crush them, and to bow to the idols whicii they them- 
selves have set up, while they tremble, and yet curse them, has in- 
duced writers to bestow unmerited praise upon Elizabeth Queen 
of England. During her reign, the persecutions which Chris- 
tianity and conscience underwent, were partly the cause of the 
attemi)ts to colonize America. Puritans were marked as the ene- 
mies of hierarchal pomp and tyrannical bigotry. In process of 
time they fled their pleasant native land, in the hope to commune 
with their God without the interference of man. 

It was during the reign of Elizabeth that England coni- 
1562 menced the slave trade. Four titled Englishmen, '' all ho- 
norable men," Sir John Hawkins, Sir Lionel Duchet, Sir 
Thomas Lodge and Sir William Winter, were the leaders in that 
infamous traffic, which has cursed and still continues to curse the 
free United States of America. In 15G2, Hawkins by the aid of the 
three men above named, (made honourable and titled as well as 
himself, by that fountain of honour a monarch,) carried a cargo of 
Africans from Sierra Leone to Hispaniola, and sold such as were 
not murdered on the voyage, as slaves to the Spaniards. Even 
Elizabeth was shocked at this novel atrocity, and called Hawkins 
to her presence to reprove him ; but he convinced her that it was 
an act of humanity to carry men from a worse to a better country, 
where thev would become civilized and converted to christianitv. 


She afterwards encouraged the trade. The same argument is 
still used by the interested, in the face of fact, reason, religion 
and humanity. 

The first cultivators of New Netherland employed African 
slaves for labourers on their plantations of tobacco or corn. But 
where shall we turn our eyes to the place at which slavery did not 
exist, or to what man at that time who discountenanced it.^ William 
Penn was a slave-holder; and John Locke the framer of constitu- 
tions for Carolina, contemplated negro slavery as part of the esta- 
blishment, and gave to every freeman absolute authority over his 
negro slaves. Even in New England, where I confess tiiat I 
love to look, negro slavery existed. 

Already the inhabitants of Boston in 1635, only five years after 
the settlement of the peninsula, established a free school. In 
3 639 the puritans of Plymouth, who at first governed themselves 
by the voices of all who belonged to the church, that is, by the votes 
of all the settlers, found it necessary to establish a representative 
government. They had previously abandoned a community of 
property, for they found that even in tliat band of brothers it 
repressed individual exeition, and encouraged some evil propen- 

Community of property cannot exist in any society combined 
for political government, which consists of a number beyond a 
very small limit; and a good government must not be exclusive. 
All the good should participate. Equality of' rights constitutes 
democracy, and numbers require a representative assembly. — 
Among many, or even a few, there cannot be equality of body or 
mind ; so neither can there be equality of power, property or en- 
joyment in any community of persons associating for self-govern- 
ment. Equality of property in such a community, neither can nor 
ought to exist. Individual property, individual power or hope 
of enjoyment, stimulates to actions which result in the good of 
all. The man that can and will do more than others, deserves 
more, and he will receive more : he has more power, and if 
he exerts it for the common good, he deserves and receives 
more confidence, love and respect. If he is selfish, he will 
forfeit this confidence, love and respect ; and his gratification will 
be sordid. The desire to possess power is in itself good, and 
with the inequality of individual gifts, proves the absurdity of en- 
deavouring to establish a society where community of property 
shall exist. 

Equality in the opportunities for acquiring education found no- 
thing to oppose it among the puritans. In Massachusetts the 
general court enacted that in every township of fifty householders, 
a person should be appointed to teach children to read and write; 
and they said " this person shall be paid either by the parents or 


the town." And every town of one hundred householders shall 
have a grammar school equal to fitting children for the university. 
So early did this wise people make provision for the future welfare 
of the state, and tax themselves for the benefit of posterity. 

When De Vries, in April 1G33, found Wouter Van Twiller at 
New Amsterdam, just arrived as the successor of Minuits, he says, 
the new commander was on board the ship De Zoiitbcrg. Van 
Twiller had been a clerk of the West India Company of Holland. 
This was his second voyage to America : in the first he had acted 
as the agent of the patroons, in selecting lands and purchasing 
from the natives. 

De Vries expressed to Van Twiller the disappointment he ex- 
perienced in regard to the whale fishery on the coast of New Ne- 
therland. He said the company ought to have sent out two or 
three sloops to gain the necessary knowledge, before fitting out 
so expensive an expedition as that which he had brought out. 
Godyn, who had been a director of the Greenland Whale Com- 
pany, ought to have known better. 

Van Twiller had arrived with a ship of twenty guns, fifty-two 
sailors and one hundred and four soldiers. By this we may form 
some notion of the importance of the place in a commercial point of 
view ; and it does not appear that the second Director-general was 
inattentive to agriculture. The colony or manor of Pavonia was 
neglected by Dc Paicw, and finally reverted to the West India 
Company. Heer Van Rensselaer* had not yet arrived in the 
country, and had only sent dependants with stock and farming 
utensils as the commencement of Renssellaerhurs^h. 

The population of New Amsterdam was not so univer- 
3638 sally enlightened as that of New England. At the arrival 
of Director-general Kieft, it is recorded in the secretary 
of state's office at Albany, that fort Amsterdam in the city of New 
Amsterdam was in a state of decay and dilapidation ; many farms 
belonging to the company, were without tenants or cultivation, 
and thrown into common; the trading vessels, with only one ex- 
ception, were in bad condition ; the houses were out of repair ; 
there was but one smith's shop, one grist mill, and one saw mill in 
operation — there had been three saw mills, but one had been burnt 
and another was unfit for use. *' The site of the magazine was 

* In Vol. 13, Dutch Records, p. 43, Kilian Van Rensselaer is addressed by the 
States-general, " honourable, respected, beloved, Kilian Van Rensselaer ; being, 
with his associates, patroon of a colony in New Netherland, and merchants in Am- 
sterdam." Judge Egbert Benson, in a MS. communication to Doctor S. Miller, says, 
" Kilian Van Rensselaer came over with Van Cortlandt (who had been bred a car- 
penter,) and brought a number of low people, indented servants and others not ser- 
vants, for the purpose of planting colonees, as the Dutch called them." 
VOL. I. 8 


scarce discoverable." The system of government had deteriorated 
as well as all things else about this time. "Judicial power was ex- 
ercised by the governor and council, or by special courts. Confes- 
sions were extorted from, the accused by torture." 

Perhaps a few extracts from the Albany Records, will here give 
a better notion of the population of New Amsterdam in this year 
and a clearer idea of the place, than any mode I could adopt. 

The " fort of Amsterdam in New Netherland,"* although di- 
lapidated, was tenanted; for here Cornelius Van Tienhoveen "se- 
cretary in behalf of the general, privileged, West India Company 
of Amsterdam," held his office and attended to business ; and 
here " Sir William Kieft, Director-general of New Netherland," 
appeared on the nineteenth of April 1638, and met John Damen, 
who there and then contracted to leaset of the director, two lots of 
land, probably a part of the company's farms above mentioned, "the 
laroest," says the record, which "thus far has been cultivated hy the 
blacks.''^ This largest piece of land is described as being near the 
fort, and the other is "north of the company's garden." Damen 
contracts to manure and cultivate this land, and as rent, pay to the 
Director-general half the produce, " with which God our Lord shall 
bless the said lots." Kieft contracts, "to keep the palisades in good 
repair, and provide Damen with two labourers for a fortnight in 
harvest time at the company's expense." The contract is for six 
years, and the company have the privilege to plant vines on the 
premises. There are other provisions ; and in case any contro- 
versy should arise, it is to be submitted to " the high provincial 
court of Holland and other courts of judicature." 

All the legal transactions appear to be in presence of the above 
secretary Tienhoveen, whether protests of skippers, or bargains 
for land. Kieft appears in company with the " honourable, wise 
and prudent," (words used by the translator whenever the gover- 

* Sir William Kieft repaired the fort which had been erected by Van Twiller, and 
built a church within the walls. It has been supposed that a house for a place of 
worship had been previously built by our Dutch ancestors, but I find no trace of it. 
In 1623 the city of Amsterdam contracted to send out at her expense with the colo- 
nists a person to read the scriptures, which probably was done, and the people attend- 
ed divine worship at a private house until Kieft built the first church within the fort, 
which was probably finished in 1641 or earlier, as it was betfun in 1640. The reverend 
John Megapoleiisis was j)erhaps then in New Amsterdam, and probably was the first 
preacher : he was certainly there in 1643, and remained until the English conquest 
in 1664. lie practised physic, as did Doctor Vanderdonck ; and we are incidentally 
told of a French physician residing at Manhattoes in Stuyvesanl's time, to which phy- 
sician a sachem repaired to be cured of disease. 

t It appears that although Kieft's farm was at Paulus Hook, the whole of which 
peninsula he sold to Planck for seventy-five pounds, the Dircctor-geneial had 
likewise a plantation on Manhattan Island, which he leased for one hundred and fifty 
pounds of good tobacco per year. 


nor or ex-governor are named,) Wouter Van T wilier, who hires 
a farm from Kieft. 

Witnesses are permitted to swear or affirm as conscience dic- 
tates : the latter mode is claimed and practised by the baptists ; 
and accordingly Keyer Hofelsen Smit, affirms before the said se- 
cretary to circumstances which I copy to illustrate manners, ra- 
ther than to add dignity to our history. This solemn affirmation 
is that of Reiner Jansen Van Sevord, who declares that Hendrick 
Jansen Snyder, called Anthony Jansen Van Zule, " is a turk, a 
rascal and a horned beast." 

There appears to be a degree of rustic ill-manners in the above ; 
but generally the records evince a state of society that is pleasant 
to contemplate. We have an agreement for the rent of a farm 
called Wallenstein, with horses, cows, calves, plough and harrow ; 
the owner of which is to receive from the farmer as rent one hun- 
dred and fifty pounds of butter, half before and half after harvest ; 
besides fifty schepels of corn (that is, thirty-seven and half bushels) 
either " wheat, rye, barley, or such produce as they can spare, to 
the contentment of the owner." The increase of the cattle was 
to be equally divided. 

By another agreement, the wise and prudent* Wouter Van 
Twiller provides Lenaart Arentsen with three milch cows, of which 
Arentsen is to enjoy the increase for four years ; at the expiration 
of which time, the " wise and prudent" may take his choice 
of the creatures Arentsen has in his stable, to the number of three 
milch cows, and the residue shall be equally divided between 
them, " provided that the three calves which are actually with the 
cows are to be fed and taken care of by Lenaart during the sum- 
mer and next winter, after which said calves must be returned to 
the Honourable Wouter Van Twiller" — " and provided that the 
first heifer calf of the whole stock shall be the property of Lenaart 
Arentsen's youngest daughter." George Rapelye receives cows 
on similar terms from Van Twiller ; and Kieft, the present Direc- 
tor-general, sells to Abraham Isaacs Plank, " a lot of land called 
Paulus-hook, situated to the west of the Island of Manhattan, east 
from Ahasimus on the North River, to the valley which borders 
on it." For this farm Plank gives four hundred and fifty guilders 
of twenty stivers each, (£75 st.) and the sheriff in the colony 
of Rensselaer-wyk is security. 

* Grants to Wouter Van Twiller entitled him to the appellation of ''wise and 
prudent." In 1637, " Hellgate and Nutten Island," were granted to him, and in 
1643, "Red-hook." Several negroes appear on the records as patentees as early 
as 1643 and 1646. New Utrecht, Long Island, was granted and laid out in 1667, 
as appears by MS. translations by Mr. Goelet, who is mentioned by William Smith 
thus, "Mr. Jacob Goelet supplied us with several extracts from the Dutch records." 
But Mr. Smith's history contains very little of the early story of New Nelheiland. 


Some payments are made in tobacco, as they were in Virginia 
long after. Several debts are acknowledged of tobacco due to 
the wise and prudent ex-director-general, who not only furnishes 
the colonists with cows but with goats. 

The plain " situated on the island of Manhattan behind Corlaer^s 
lot," was cultivated in tobacco ; and Hans Hansen contracts to 
provide houses for the workmen and stores for the tobacco, and 
" to keep the persons emigrating from Vaterland in constant era- 
ploy to their mutual profit." 

These records remind me of the testimony borne by Chancellor 
Kent to the virtues of the first colonists of New York : he says, 
" they were grave, temperate, firm, persevering men, who brought 
with them the industry, the economy, the simplicity, the integrity and 
the bravery of their Belgic sires ; and with those virtues they also 
imported the lights of the Roman civil law, and the purity of the 
protestant faith." But we should have a very unfaithful picture 
of the society of New Amsterdam if we applied these flattering 
colours to them generally. They undoubtedly belong to the lead- 
ing men on the island of Manhattan, and to the agriculturists 
throughout New Netherland, who like the Walloons of Brooklyn 
and the settlers of Long Island, Esopus, and other early planta- 
tions on the North river, as well as the farmers upon the island 
beyond the pallisadoes of the city : but within the boundary line 
of Wall-street, in governor Kieft's time, the virtues above named 
were not so general. In the fort was a body of soldiers ; in the 
harbour and at the wharves sailors and their skippers, of various 
character; and among them drunkenness and brawls were not un- 

The administration of Kieft has been generally condemned by 
history, but we must make allowances for the many causes of ir- 
ritation and perplexity which pressed upon him : among which 
the several colonies of Swedes who settled within the Dutch 
limits, and whom he had no power to resist, must be taken into 

Colonel John Printz had been appointed governor of 
1640 the Swedes on Delaware river in 1640, but he did not ar- 
rive until 1642. He established himself near the mouth 
1643 of the Schuykill in 1643, wher-e he built a fort, called New 
Gottenbnrg, a chur-ch and a place of residence for himself. 
He was instructed to resist the claims of the Dutch, but was only 
opposed by Kieft's protests. He cultivated friendly relations 
with the natives and enjoyed uninterrupted tranquillity ; the colony 
prospered, and the colonel received permission from home to return 
in 1 654, resigning his government to John Papagoa, a gentleman 
who had emigrated to America with the earliest Swedish colonists. 
Two years after Papagoa resigned his government to Risingh, 


who, as we shall see, was forcibly displaced by governor Stuy- 

In addition to the encroachment of the Swedes on Delaware, 
and of the English on Connecticut river, Kieft found his territory 
invaded on Long Island by Lyon Gardiner, who had emigrated 
to America in 1635, and under Lord Say and Seal built a fort 
at Saybrook, of which he was commandant until he found a more 
pleasant and profitable home in 1639 on Long Island, and on 
the adjacent island, which has to this day borne his name.* 

The Indians likewise disturbed Sir William Kieft more than they 
had done his predecessors. They probably lost the admiration 
first inspired by their European guests, placed less value on their 
commodities, felt annoyance from their encroachments and con- 
tempt at witnessing their vices. But before I enter upon the con- 
tests of Kieft and his savage neighbours, I will bring up the affairs 
of the French in Acadia and Canada, to the period of his admi- 

The natives of Acadia or Nova Scotia called by the French, 
Micmacs, were governed patriarchally by their chiefs, or sagamores, 
a title which was in use likewise among the Indians of New 
England. Charlevoix tells us of a great sagamore who was con- 
verted to Christianity at Port Royal, by the Jesuits, but on his 
death-bed desired to be buried among his forefathers ; and obtain- 
ed the governor's promise to that efi:ect. But father Bedet the 
Jesuit, said " no ; it would be a scandal to bury a christian among 
infidels. Biencourt, the governor, pleaded his promise: "be- 
sides," he added, " you can bless the place of burial." The Jesuit 

* Lyon Gardiner was a Scotchman, and a lieutenant in the British Army. He 
purchased Gardiner's Island from the Indians, and a confirmation of the property from 
the agent of the Earl of Stirling, who had a grant of Long Island and the adjacent 
islets from James the first of England. The Hon. Silas Wood of Huntington, Long 
Island, says, that the relinquishment of Long Island by the heirs of the Earl of Stir- 
ling, is recognized in the patent from Governor Nicolls to Constant and Nathaniel 
Syfycster for Shelter Island, 31st of May 1 666. In the Stirling MS. in the Historical 
Library of New York, the attorney of William Alexander in 1759 tells him that the 
right of the heirs of Lord Stirling was conveyed to James Duke of York, in the year 
1662 for three hundred pounds. David Gardiner, the eldest son of Lyon, was born 
at Saybrook, and is supposed to be the first white child born in Connecticut. After 
the removal of Lyon to Gardiner's Island, his daughter Elizabeth was born, on the 14th 
of September 1641 ; and she is traditionally considered to have been the first £«g/)sA 
child born on Long Island, as Sarah Rapelye born at Wallabout in 1625, was the first 
of Dutch parents. David Gardiner was probably the first English child born within 
the New Netherlands. Lieutenant Lyon Gardiner gained the friendship and grati- 
tude of Wyandaia the sachem of the Montauks, by generously ransoming his daugh- 
ter from the Narragansetts, who had carried her off prisoner in one of their war eX' 
peditions from the continent. The grateful chieftain presented him with the territory 
which forms Souihtown. Lyon died in 1663, having been in favour with both Indiana 
and whites to the hour of his death. Gardiner's Island was appraised in 1663 at 
seven hundred pounds, and in 1824 paid one sixth of the taxes of East Hampton, and 
belonged at that date to the eighth lineal descendant from Lyon Gardiner. 


\vould not yield that the body should be deposited in the spot 
pointed out by the sagamore, unless all the infidels should first 
be dug up and removed. As the sagamore's intention was to 
sleep with them, not to disturb them, and as the natives would 
not suffer such profanation to be offered to the bones of their 
ancestors, this could not be done. The Jesuit persisted, and 
refused to perform the ceremonies necessary for the repose of the 
dying man unless he relinquished his intention. And father 
Charlevoix tells us, that this firmness of the Jesuit was blessed. 
The sagamore gave up, and renounced his wish ; consequently 
made an edifying end, such as would have done honour to an 
"ancient christian." 

In the meantime the colony decreased : the colonists 
1613 were dependent on the natives for food; and the contempt 
they conceived for such helpless beings, who at the same 
time made extravagant pretensions, prevented the progress of con- 
version to Christianity. In 1613 M. La Haive found but five 
persons at Port Royal, including two Jesuits and the apothe- 
cary, who had been in charge of the spiritual and bodily welfare 
of the community; the latter acted as governor. 

La Haive removed the two fathers to Pantagaet, and the new 
colony was named St. Saveur. Here the Jesuits performed at 
least one miracle, if the historian is correct : but scarcely had the 
savages been edified by this supernatural event (the cure of an 
infant by baptism,) when Samuel Argal with a fleet of English ves- 
sels from Virginia entered the harbour and carried off the colonists, 
Jesuits and all. Shortly after, Argal expelled the French from 
Port Royal or its neighbourhood, claiming the whole country for 
England, and the plunder for himself. 

M. Champlain, who had returned to France, again crossed the 
ocean and ascended the St. Lawrence. Having promised the 
Indians of Tadoussac, who were called by the French Montag- 
nez, that he would accompany them on a second expedition 
against the Iroquois, he proceeded before them to Quebec, 
where the Algonkins joined in the war party, and the Indians from 
below coming up, all the savages proceeded to the river Sorel to 
await Champlain. On his arrival at the rendezvous his allies re- 
ported that one hundred Iroquois were near them ; on which 
Champlain and four other Frenchmen leaving their bark, entered 
the canoes of the Indians, for the purpose of falling by surprise on 
the Iroquois. Again the heroes of the confederate five nations 
were defeated by the aid which Champlain afforded to their ene- 
mies, and the repetition of the fearful effects of their fire-arms, 
The report of the first defeated party, which probably could not 
be fully comprehended, was fearfully confirmed to the Iroquois. 

After this battle the allies, though victorious, were disgusted 


with each other. The Algonkins were displeased with the eager- 
ness the French had shown in seizing and appropriating the spoil; 
and the French were shocked when they saw their friends eat 
one of their enemies who had been taken prisoner. 

Charaplain, after another voyage to France, returned 
1615 to the colonists on the St. Lawrence. An establishment 
was formed on the island of Montreal. Champlain, who 
thought that by accompanying the war parties of the Indians, who 
surrounded the French colonists, he should secure their friendship, 
and at the same time make himself acquainted with the country, 
and familiar with the names of the various inhabitants, entered into an 
engagement with the Montagnez, the Algonkins, and the Hurons, 
all in league against their former conquerors, the Iroquois, who 
yet had not become acquainted with fire-arms for their defence or 
the annoyance of their enemies ; for they had not yet received 
from the Dutch the weapons which they subsequently used with 
such effect against the French and their savage allies, when they 
proved themselves the guardians of New -York in repelling the 
Canadian inroads. 

M. Champlain having occasion to visit Quebec, the Indians 
in the neighbourhood of the colonists, with a number of French- 
men, armed with muskets, proceeded to the country of the Hu- 
ions to collect their forces against the Iroquois. They were 
accompanied by a father of the order of Recollet ; who, in his 
zeal as a minister of peace, persuaded himself that it became him 
to accompany this invading war party, that he mighty says father 
Charlevoix, " accustom himself to the manner of life of the people 
to whom he proposed to announce Jesus Christ." This Recollet 
father was Joseph Caron. 

Champlain, returning from Quebec to Montreal, immediately 
pressed forward, with two additional Frenchmen and ten Indians, 
for the purpose of overtaking the allies. At the village of the 
Hurons he joined them ; and they pushed on, accompanied by 
father Joseph Caron, to attack the Iroquois, who, at that time, had 
no knowledge of the French nation but by the injuries they had 
sustained at their hands. 

The missionaries appeared among the Hurons, Algonkins, and 
other Canadian savages, Avith the advantage of being of the same 
country with thosewhose superiority in arts and arms gave them suc- 
cess over their enemies. The testimony of the Jesuit Charlevoix 
respecting the effects of the zeal evinced by the missionaries 
among the Hurons is given with candour and great naivete. 
He says, they made but few converts who submitted to baptism, 
but they saved many infants by baptizing them when dying. As 
to the adults, his words are, " We are not to consider a savage 
convinced because he assents to what is proposed to him ; for 


they hate nothing so much as to contradict or dispute tliat which 
is asserted to them; and, sometimes, from pure complaisance, and 
sometimes from laziness, they evince every mark of being con- 
vinced on subjects to which they have paid no attention, or have 
not comprehended." He says, they receive baptism, and attend 
to all the external observances of religion, and will say frankly 
that they do so to oblige the priest who has pressed them to change 
their faith ; but, with strange simplicity, he adds, that Indians, 
who have had no doubt respecting the articles of the Roman faith, 
even the most incomprehensible, yet would not be converted. 

M. Champlain fortified Quebec, he having been at this 
1623 time established as governor of Canada; but the city, 
now so proud, and as a fortress the admiration of the 
western world, was, in 1623, a very paltry place, and so it re- 
mained in 1629, when Kirk took the place for the English go- 
vernment. Most of the French inhabitants remained, and Canada 
was restored to France in 1632, by the treaty of St. Germain, 
with all its dependencies. 

In this year the capital of Canada consisted of a small 
1632 fort, surrounded by some miserable houses and barracks. 
Higher up the St. Lawrence, Montreal was still more 
inconsiderable. A few houses were commenced at Trois rivieres^ 
and below Quebec the settlements were much the same. This 
scant colonization, with the ruins of Port Royal, were the only 
results of the efforts of France to plant civilization in America up 
to this time. 

When Champlain was restored to his government by the peace 
of St. Germain, he sent a colony of Jesuits among the Hurons, 
whose country was bounded by Lake Erie on the south. Lake 
Huron on the west, and Ontario on the east. Notwithstanding 
many miracles performed by the fathers this colony did not 
thrive ; and, akhough many christians were made, they were 
generally converted and baptized when dying. 

The Iroquois had by this time procured guns, powder, 
1638* and lead, from the New Netherlanders, and resumed their 
to haughty attitude, as warriors and conquerors, over the 
1642 savages of Canada, notwithstanding the aid the latter re- 
ceived from their French allies. About the time that Sir 
Wilham Kieft arrived at New Amsterdam, the skill attained by 
the confederated five nations, in the use of the European engines 
of destruction, enabled them to take ample revenge upon the French 

* Let us ever remember that in this year the first printing press was sent to Ame- 
rica, by J. Glover, a dissenting clergyman of England, and arrived at Cambridge, 


settlers for the inroads of M. Champlain. Eagerly and quickly 
the Iroquois seized the deadly arms of the Europeans, and, retain- 
ing his superiority of skill and courage, became more dreadful 
than ever to the Algonkin tribes; and the French were compelled 
to erect a fort, which they called Richlieu, at the mouth of the 
river Sorel, to guard against what they termed the insolence of 
the Iroquois.* 

Their country, according to Charlevoix, extended from the 
Sorel to the Ohio ; was bounded on the north by the great lakes 
and the Hurons, and on the south by the hunting grounds of the 
Leni Lenape or Delawares. 

About the year 1640 the French government established some 
schools at Quebec, a hospital, and convents. A feeble attempt 
was likewise made to resuscitate the colony at Montreal, and the 
establishment was placed under the patronage of, " The mother of 
God, our lady of Paris." 


Fort Amsterdam— Long Island — Hartford — Struggles of Sir 
William Kieft — With New England — with the Indians — De 
Vries — Roger Williams — Canadian Affairs- — Previous His- 
tory of Cajptain Underhill — Troubles and unha-ppy end of 
Director-general Kieft. 

The practice of purchasing their land from the Indians was 
one adopted by the colonists from a pure sense of justice and 
propriety ; it was not enjoined by the grants from the European 
potentates. Calvert, Lord Baltimore, and, one year after, Roger 
Williams,! purchased of the natives publicly in council the terri- 
tory they wished for their followers. The Dutch did the same 
at Manhattan, at Oranien, and in 1636 at Harlaem. The settlers 
on Long Island, both English and Dutch, satisfied the Indian 
claims. Many of the towns in Queens county were English, 
while the greater number in Kings county were Dutch. Wouter 
Van Twiller granted a tract of land in Kings county as early as 

* This name of Iroquois is said to be formed upon the exclamation of these people 
when they finish a speech or harangue — " Hiro .'" " I have said." 

t Roger Williams was a native of Wales ; he arrived in America in the year 1632. 
See Verplanck'? Historical Discourse, Bancroft, and Walsh's United States and 
Great Britain. Note C. 

VOL. I. 9 


Fort Amsterdam, in the city of New Amsterdam, was finished 
by Van Twiller, on the bluff which once overhung Pearl street, 
and commanded, or appeared to command, both East and North 
river. It cost the Dutch West India Company 4172 
1640 guilders 10 stuyvers. Two years after his arrival Kieft 
built a church within the fort. In this church probably 
the Rev. John Megapolensis was the first preacher. He was 
likewise a surgeon and practised physic* 

Long Island, as we have seen, was not only claimed, but the 
settlement commenced in 1625. This island was then and long 
after the English conquest, an important portion of the province. 
The Dutch inhabitants of Long Island, as well as their brethren 
on Manhattoes, professed the religion of the synod of Dort. 
Their church government was that of the classis of Amsterdam 
until 1772, when the Dutch church of America established an 
independant classis and synods like those of Holland. 

* In 1664 John Megapolensis, jr., minister of the Dutch church at New Amster- 
dam, wrote "A short description of the Maquas Indians in New Nctherland." He 
gives an account of the country and its natural products. He says, " strawberries 
grow in such plenty in the fields that we go there and lie down and eat them, &c. 
fc^Grapes fit for eating and wine in great plenty — Deer, price six or seven guilders — 
'Turkeys in great plenty, and other fowl — Land-lions, (supposed Panthers,) Bears, 
Wolves and Foxes, &c. &c." 

He describes the Indians as of two nations, the Mahafcobaas, (Mohawks or Iro- 
quois,) and Mahakans, (Mohicans,) the latter being subdued by the former and paying 
yearly tribute to the former, friendly and hospitable to the Dutch, as are both. They 
go almost naked in summer, the children entirely so. In winter " they hang loosely 
about them" a bear's or other skin. Nothing is worn on the head, and the women 
have long hair ; the men only one lock unshorn. He describes them as loose in sex- 
ual intercourse, and the women's favours bought by the Dutch at two or three shillings 
(a Dutch shilling is worth six and a half pence sterling.) The facility of child-bear- 
ing and the slavery of females is mentioned as usual. He asserts that cannibalism, 
torturing and eating prisoners were practised. He says, that in 1643 tlie Indians took 
three Frenchmen. One was a Jesuit, who was- tortured, but the Dutch released him 
and sent him to France : one of the other men was killed. He describes their man- 
ners as they are now well known. Their slovenly and beastly mode of eating is 
disgustingly descriptive. 

A schcpcl is a measure equal to three pecks : and he says he has seen a canoe of 
the wood of a single tree, that carried 200 schepels of grain. Already the Dutch 
had supplied the natives with guns, swords and axes. He describes their fishing, and 
says they dry the fish for winter food. His description of their belief in and worship 
of, a good and evil spirit, is confused. lie says after he has preached to the Dutch, 
the Indians who have stood by, asked him what is the meaning of his making so 
many words, and no one answering him ? And when he tells them that he admon- 
ishes the christians not to steal, get drunk, commit murder, &c. — they say he does 
well ; but remark, that the christians do all these things notwithstanding. Of their 
superstitions, charms or medicine, he speaks as having some knowledge. Their 
government by councils of their oldest, wisest, most eloquent and efficient men is 
shadowed forth ; but he truly says, it is only a government of persuasion and con- 
viction ; for the people decide in all cases — this he calls mob government. The 
chiefs and leaders, he says, give to the people instead of receiving from them, as 
among christians. The principle of revenge he likewise mentions, and of pacifica- 
tion by presents. He concludes by saying, " that although these people live without 
law or punishments, they do not commit murders or other villanies as much as wo do. " 



Many of the towns ol" Long Island were settled by the 
1640 English with the permission of, and under the jurisdiction of 
the Dutch. These towns adopted or framed laws for their 
own government : they armed themselves from suspicion of evil 
designs towards them on the part of the Indians, they therefore 
entered into military regulations ; they hkewise enjoyed trial by 
jury when it was requested; a jury consisted of seven, and a ma- 
jority gave the decision ; they had town meetings for imposing 
taxes and appointing tax-gatherers : each town judged of the char- 
acter of any person who wished to become a settler, and admitted 
or excluded him as his good fame or opinions suited the majority. 
In this year, Trumbull says, Mr. John Youngs purchased and 
settled Yinnicock, i. e. Southold. 

The regulations established by the Dutch Governor respecting 
trade to Connecticut river, were strict, and no doubt intended to 
prevent collisions between the Netherlanders and the English. 
All persons were prohibited, as early as 1639, from trading witli 
fort Good Hope without permission obtained from the Director- 
general ; and vessels; sailing up the Fresh rivei without leave were 
liable to forfeiture. Still the English increased in number about 
the fort, and the men of Hartford took possession, by force, of the 
land which the Dutch had prepared for planting. Those of fort 
Good Hope who attempted to plant, were beaten, and their com- 
plaints to Governor Hopkins of Hartford were not heeded. On 
the 13th of May, 1640, Kieft sent Cornelius Van Tienhoven, his 
secretary, with the under-sheriff, a sergeant and twenty -five sol- 
diers, to Siocits bay, since called Oyster bay, on Long Island, to 
break up a settlement which the English had begun at that place. 
These setders were people who had purchased from the agent of 
Lord Surling, and finding on their arrival from Massachusetts, 
that the Dutch had marked dieir possession by affixing the arms of 
the States to a tree, the English tore down this mark of sovereignty 
and in derision set up a fool's head in the place. 

When Tienhoven and his detachment arrived, they found eight 
men, one woman and an infant, who had erected one house and 
were building another. The Dutch guard brought six of the 
men to Kieft, and these men reported that they came from Lynn, 
near Boston, under the authority of one Forrester, agent of the 
Earl of Stirling.* The arms of the States having been replaced, 

* July 7th, 1640, Forrest or Forrester, whose real name was Ferrat, agent of 
Lord Stirling, patented eight miles square, (now the township of Southampton,) to 
Daniel How, Job Sayer, George Wilks, William Parker and their associates. Though 
this agent of Lord Stirling is generally called Forrester and sometimes Forrest, he 
wrote his name very plainly Ferrat, as may be seen by original papers now on Long 


and the fool's head as well as other erections thrown down, the 
Governor dismissed the prisoners on iheir signing an agreement 
to abandon the intention of settlement. Already another invasion 
of Long Island had taken place, and Southold was commenced 
on a tract of land purchased from the Indians by the governor of 
New Haven, or by the Rev. Mr. Youngs. 

In June the government and council of New Amsterdam 
1640 determined to send Johannes La Montaignee, one of 
the council, vi^ith fifty soldiers and some sloops to strengthen 
fort Good Hope ; and the strife between individuals continuing, a 
proposition was made by Kieft that the English settlements should 
be considered vaUd if made under the jurisdiction of the States of 
Holland. But all his attempts either amicably or by appearance 
of force had no effect. The Hartford plantations surrounded the 
Dutch fort ; the Dutch cultivators were driven off, their cattle 
seized, fences were set up that prevented the Dutch from pursuing 
their usual wagon-way to the wood, and all these aggressions in- 
creased as the stronger party became more strong. In October 
this year, the English began to build at Greenwich, south of 

While the New England men, considering the English claim as 
good, or better than that of Holland, intruded themselves upon 
the Dutch possessions on the main land, from the east ; the equal- 
ly hardy Swedes planted their colonies upon the Delaware. 

Both the republicans of Connecticut and the servants 
1640 of the Earl of Stirling pressed upon the eastern end of 
Long Island, at the same time that the Indians of New 
Jersey showed symptons of hostility towards the governor of New 
Netherland and his colonists. Provoked by dishonest traders and 
maddened by rum, the Delawares invaded Staten Island and 
threatened New Amsterdam. Kieft, who seems to have had little 
of the manner or spirit of conciliation, outlawed the New Jersey 
Indians, and offered a reward of ten fathoms of wampum for the 
head or scalp of a Raritan or other native. He even invaded 
their country, but only to prove the inefficacy of the measure. 

De Vries, the leader of the first colony to the Delaware, being 
at New Amsterdam, urged treatment conciliatory, just and humane, 
as a remedy more effective than force ; but the counsels of vio- 
lence were too loud for him. The traders who had been crossed, 
or insulted, or thwarted in their schemes, could not be brought to 
submission or reparation; and the IndiansycZnhe injuries, which 
they had not been taught, and had no disposition, to forgive. A 
savage, goaded by insult and wrong, had vowed to kill the first 
Dutchman he met. The vow of vengeance was performed. Kieft 
demanded the murderer. This the Raritans would not comply 
with ; but they sent a deputation to say that they were sorry for 


what had happened, and according to their customs were willing 
to pay the " price of blood." The historical reader will remem- 
ber that an atonement of this kind was common to many nations 
in an early state. The Indians were willing to pay and to apolo- 
gize; at the same time they said truly, " \ou are yourselves the 
cause of the evil. It is only by preventing the sale of rum that 
such madness and bloodshed can be avoided." 

But the customs of civilized men required blood for blood. — 
Kieft thought it necessary to strike terror among the natives, and 
show them that the death of a white man could only be atoned for 
by the submission or destruction of a nation. The flames of war 
kindled, and the colony of New Netherland felt the eftects of the 
cupidity of their traders and the rashness of their governor. I 
have reminded the reader that the price of blood was received 
as atonement for the death of a friend or relative among most 
savages. But in this the laws of civilization were found to clash 
with the customs of the native Americans and were irreconcilable : 
yet how powerful is the appeal of the Indian on this occasion. 
"You sell us rum — you make us mad — you drink and make 
yourselves mad — it is you who are in fault if we kill your people 
— it is yojir rum docs it..'''' 

Mr. Gallatin has observed that " the Dutch appear to have b^en 
reduced to great distress by the Manhattans and the Long Island 
Indians," and he might have added, the Raritans and other tribes 
of Delawares. *' Application was made in vain," he continues, 
"for assistance to the colony of New Haven : but they engaged 
in their service Captain Underbill, a famous partizan officer, with 
whose assistance, and that of the Mohawks, they carried on the 
war for several years. Underbill had a mixed corps of English 
and Dutch, with which he is said to have killed 400 Indians on 
Long Island. And in the year 1646 a severe battle took place at 
Horseneck, on the main, where the Indians were finally defeated." 
Trumbull adds, " that Underbill was from Stamford, and the em- 
ploying him so offended a ruffian, previously engaged by Kieft 
in Indian killing, that he attempted the life of the Director-general ; 
and one of Marble's (the name of this ruffian) men discharged his 
gun at Kieft, and was shot by the governor's sentinel." 

The hostilities from 1640 to 1643, although the cause 
1643 of distress to the colonists of New Netherland, and par- 
ticularly to those who had settled on Staten Island, were 
terminated in the latter year by the mediations of the wise and 
good Roger Williams, who visited Manhattan at that time on his 
way to England. 

On the 25th of March, Roger "Williams brought about a meeting 
between Kieft and the Sachems of various tribes, (which had 
been engaged in the previous contest,) at Rechquatrec, on Long 


Island, (now called Rockaway,) and the quarrel which began in 
1640, when an Indian youth, maddened by rum and injustice, 
murdered the first white man he met, and white men, professing 
Christianity, carried the sword among the red men indiscrimi- 
nately, was healed, and peace for a time restored by a real disciple 
of Christ. 

This pacification was but of short duration, and before the end 
of the year Governor Kieft was involved again in furious hostility 
with the natives of the surrounding country, and it was then that 
he called in the aid of Captain John Underbill ; but, before intro- 
ducing that worthy formally to the reader, I will bring up the 
affairs of Canada and the northern frontier of New Netherland to 
this period.* 

After the death of M. Champlain, who had caused that enmity 
towards France in the confederated Iroquois, which made them a 
rampart for the frontier of New Netherland, and subsequently for 
New York ; he was succeeded by Mons. Montmagne, who was 
shortly after recalled, and Mons. D'Ailleboust was appointed go- 
vernor of New France. 

The great business in Canada at this time, according to Char- 
levoix, appears to have been making christians ; but the trade in 
furs was not neglected, and certainly succeeded better than the 
first, if a protestant may be permhted to judge ; not but that many 
miracles were performed, and martyrdoms suffered. The Iroquois 
continued to attack both the French and the Indians with the 
usual success which attended their superior wisdom, valour, and 
daring ; and as the Eastern Indians were troublesome to the people 
of New England, Charlevoix tells us that they sent a deputy to 
propose an alliance, eternal, (as all alliances are,) between the Eng- 
lish and French colonists. M. Ailleboust, in return, sent a priest 

* 1644. — The Rev. William Castcll wrote to the English parliament a letter re- 
commending the preaching of the gospel to the Indians in the English plantations, 
and obtained the signatures of many clergymen in London, and elsewhere, to his 
letter, which was a kind of petition. He represents the cruelties of the Spaniards in 
America, and points out the " better way" that protestants should take with these 
unhappy and benighted people He seems, however, to think that the English plan- 
tations will not continue, as England has rather hindered than furthered their pros- 
perity. But he urges the cherishing the colonies, and the christianizing the Indians, 
with force, truth, and eloquence. When the lords and commons, assembled in par- 
liament, appointed Robert Earl of Warwick governor of all the plantations of Ame- 
rica, they likewise appointed commissioners to assist him, and among the names re- 
corded we find that of Oliver Cromwell. 

In this year [1644] Southampton, on Long Island, was received into the juris- 
diction of Connecticut by permission of the commissioners of the United Colonies. 
The town subsequently complained that the Dutch sold guns, powder, and shot, to 
the Indians, who (they say) in 1653, had become good marksmen, and disturb the 
English by firing volleys of small arms at their entertainments. Easthampton was 
added to Connecticut in 1650. 


as a negotiator to Boston, to conckRle a treaty, " provided the 
English would join in a war against the Iroquois." This alliance 
was not likely to take place. The New England men did not 
think fit to march against the Iroquois for the purpose of defending 
the French and Algonkins. 

The Hurons, attributing their destruction to the eimiity which 
the Five Nations bore to the French, became jealous of the Jesuits 
residing among them, and put several to death ; while the Iroquois 
took pleasure in torturing the priests whenever they fell into their 
hands. The savage delight of the Indians, and the sufferings of 
the fathers, are detailed by the Jesuit historian, as well as the mi- 
racles which attended these instances of cruelty. 

The triumphant Iroquois are represented as pursuing the Hu- 
rons, even to the shelter of the fort of Quebec. 

In the year 1643 the colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, 
Connecticut, and Newhaven, formed a league for self-govern- 
ment and common defence.* This confederacy may be con- 
sidered as the germ of the present federal constitution : a con- 
gress was, by agreement, to be held annually, each province send- 
ing two delegates : the assent of three-fourths of the assembly was 
binding upon the whole. John Winthrop, the younger, was the 
first president. This was the first step towards that independence 
which we now enjoy. This confederation lasted till 1686. It 
showed that spirit which became universal with the American 
people — the determination to govern themselves, under just laws, 
and to preserve the rights of Englishmen ; but it is, by no means, a 
proof, as Robertson the historianf has asserted, " that they con- 
sidered themselves as independent societies, possessing all the 
rights of sovereignty, and free from the control of any superior 
power." They were ever conscious of their rights as English 
subjects ; and when they found (as they soon did) that England, 
for selfish purposes, invaded those rights, they became jealous de- 
fenders of them. The union of 1643 was for defence, but its 
operation impressed upon the colonies the truth that union gives 
power. They united for their defence as their predecessors the 
Iroquois had done for conquest. 

This confederacy of the English colonies may be considered as 
leading to all those which followed. The New England colonies 
confederated under pretence of danger from the Dutch, and with 
some reality of it from the Indians ; but the true motive was self- 
government, the right of all men. The confederacy continued 
43 years, when James II., of England, deprived the colonies of 

* Kent's Comm. Vol. 1, p. 202, 203. 
t Hist, of Am Book 10. 


their charters. But although they confederated for self-govern- 
ment, they soon found themselves strong enough to govern others. 
The commissioners (so the congress of deputies called them- 
selves) gave a certificate to an Indian of Long Island, " because 
Long Island, with the smaller islands adjacent," had been granted 
" to the Lord Stirling," and by him " passed over," that is, 
granted or sold to " some English of these colonies," and because 
the Indians of and in the eastern parts of Long Island had become 
tributaries to the English, and have engaged their lands to them; 
they, the commissioners, therefore certify that this Indian pro- 
fesses to be friendly to both English and Dutch, and will inform 
them of any plot to injure them ; and therefore they express their 
wish that this Indian, the sagamore, or sachem of Mimhauget, on 
Long Island, may be respected by the English, and remain unin- 
jured by them. 

It was to this powerful confederacy of the English colonies that 
Kieft applied for relief from the Indian tribes that desolated New 
Netherland and threatened New Amstnrdam, and he applied in 
vain. Kieft knew that, besides the Indians who had been pro- 
voked by his own people, and now prevailed against hira, he was 
surrounded by European foes. The puritans pressed upon him 
from the east, both on the continent and on Long Island ; the 
Swedes were on his south river : and the Cavalier colonies of 
Virginia and Delaware were hostile to the pretensions of his 

The tribes of the nations on the Hudson had joined with the 
Raritans and some of the Long Island Indians ; it therefore seemed 
as if they were determined to exterminate the whites whom they 
had once loved, or feared and adored. From the shores of New 
Jersey to the borders of Connecticut savage and remorseless hos- 
tility was waged against the Netherlanders and their inmates. 
Anne Hutchinson, who had fled from the persecution of the perse- 
cuted, and taken refuge with the cultivators of the Netherlands, 
was murdered with her protectors. 

" When you first came to our shores," said a sachem of the 
council held for a treaty, " you were destitute of food. We gave 
you our beans and corn ; we fed you with oysters and fish ; and 
now, for our recompense, you murder our people." This charge 
was, with truth, often repeated in every part of America. 

But confidence was not restored between the natives 
1643 and the Netherlanders. Kieft was not conciliating or pru- 
dent. The Indians had felt their power and thirsted for re- 
venge. They, perhaps, began to see their destined annihilation if the 
whites were suffered to increase and occupy their hunting and 
fishing grounds and waters. The same causes that had brought 
on the first quarrel renewed it in less than a year, and the Indians, 


flushed with former success, again began tlie work of blood and 

Though Kiel't had received no succour in soldiers from the 
government of New England, he was not so unsuccessful in his 
application to individuals of the English blood. He engaged in 
his service a man whose name is still famous on Long Island, 
whose descendants to this day occupy land, purchased by his va- 
lour, the fears or friendship of some of the Indians, and the assist- 
ance rendered to the Dutch in this second Indian war. 

We are informed by the Dutch records, that in June 1641, 
Englishmen had permission to settle on Long Island among the 
Dutch. Such of the English as chose to mingle with the Nether- 
landers were secured in the exercise of their religion, choice of their 
own magistrates, their own courts for causes under 41 guilders, 
and in cases criminal, not capital ; with exemption from taxes for 
ten years, on condition of swearing allegiance to the Dutch go- 
vernment, using Dutch weights and measures, and not erecting 
any forts without permission. 

Captain John Underbill, like Lyon Gardiner, brought with 
him the acquisitions gained by serving in the armies of England, 
sent to aid the Dutch in the low countries. Captain John was a 
soldier of fortune, sturdy and brave, seeking " provant" and 
plunder as one, at that time, of his profession may be supposed 
to do. He had been sent with the forces of James I. of Eng- 
land, (much against the king's will,) raised to aid rebellious sub- 
jects in casting oft' the yoke of a master ; but the cause of the 
protestant religion, and the interest of James's son-in-law, the pa- 
latine, had prevailed over his bias to kingcraft. Whether Un- 
derbill bore a commission in this war, I know not, but he returned 
to England with the title of captain, a Dutch wife, and the Dutch 

The new world presented a wider field for adventure than was 
to be found in England. A Dutch wife, or the Dutch language, 
were not likely to cause his thriving among a people taught to des- 
pise all foreigners ; and the trade of war was not agreeable to 
James, happily for his subjects. A sword was the king's aver- 
sion ; and a sword was probably the sole reliance of Underbill. 
Accordingly he emigrated to Boston, and was well received 
among the valiant and pious. 

Captain John Underbill was an author as well as a warrior, and 
there exists, in the New York Historical Library, " News from 
America, or a New and Experimental Discoverie of New Eng- 
land, containing a true relation of their warlike proceedings, these 
two years past, with a figure of the Indian Fort or Pallisado, by 
Capain John UnJerhill, Commander in the Wars there. London, 
printed for P. Cole, 1638." 

VOL. I. 10 


The warrior author, after making apologies, tells us of the wars 
of New England with the " Block Islanders," and that " insolent 
and barbarous nation called the Pigeats," who were slain by the 
" sword of the Lord," and the English, " to the number of 1500 
souls," so that their country " is fallen into the hands of the Eng- 
lish." All this for the " glory of God," captain John sets forth. 
He states the cause of the war with the Block Indians being, their 
slaying John Oldham in his boat, and clothing ''their bloody 
flesh with his lawful garments." This island, " lying in the road- 
way to the Lord Sey, and the Lord Brooke's plantation," the 
murderer was seen, and several of the murderers shot on the spot, 
and others carried prisoners to Massachusetts by the master and 
crew of an English vessel. This not being considered atonement 
sufficient, " ]Master Henrie Vane," and the other magistrates of 
Massachusetts, sent " 100 well appointed soldiers," commanded 
by Endicot, having Underbill and others under him. It seems 
there were four captains, besides " inferior officers," to command 
this body of 100 men ; for which disparity Underbill accounts by 
the necessity of dividing their men into small parties, to meet the 
practice of the savages. As they approached Block Island, they 
saw a single Indian, and every appearance of the place being de- 
serted ; but, knowing their manner of lying in ambush, Underbill 
was sent with twelve soldiers in his boat to land, in expectation of 
finding an enemy. Accordingly, he says, when his shallop ap- 
proached the shore, up rose, " from behind the barricado," " fifty 
or sixty able fighting men, men as straite as arrows, very tall, and 
of active bodyes, having their arrows nockt," (/. e. fitted to the 
nock ready I'or flight,) " they drew near to the water side, and let fly 
at the soldiers, as though they had meant to have made an end of 
us all in a moment." One young gentleman received an arrow 
in his neck, through a thick collar, and Underbill was pierced 
through the coat sleeve, and would inevitably been slain, but that 
" God in his providence" had " moved the heart of" Under- 
bill's " wife to persuade" him to go '* armed with his helmet," 
on which the missile fell in vain. From which the warrior-au- 
thor iujpresses his reader with two things — 1st, " that God useth 
weak means to keep his purpose unviolated." The second 
lesson of Captain John is, '• let no man despise the counsel of 
his wife." We may add, that {ew men despise the advice of a 
wife without cause for bitter repentance. 

But the captain seems to apologize for his former frailty at Bos- 
ton, and says, that " what with Delilah's flattery, and with her 
mournful tears, they," women, " will have their desire." After 
much apologetic matter he proceeds to tell that the party he led, 
with difficulty landed, the surf preventing them from firing upon 
the Indians, or bringing their boat to the beach ; they, however. 


sprung Into the waves, middle deep, and waded ashore. The 
savages, finding the bullets " overreach their arrows," fled, while 
Endicot, with the main body, gained the land unhurt. They 
found provision and shelter in the Indian wigwams, and with all 
due military precaution of pickets and sentinels, refreshed them- 
selves with the goods of the native proprietors. 

The next day they " burnt and spoyled both houses and corne 
in great abundance." The Indians were hid in their swamps, and 
the conquerors received no harm, but that one o/the caplains, going 
too near a swamp, was hit by an arrow upon his corslet., which 
blow would have killed him, if he had not been thus defended 
by armour. Having passed this day " in spoyling the island," 
they passed another night in ease, only that Underbill with ten 
men went out and discovered a place where there w^ere many wig- 
wams and much corn, all which, taking forty men with him the 
next day, he destroyed, " burnt their houses, cut downe their 
corne," and killed some dogs, " instead of men," which he found 
in the houses. As they passed to their embarkation they " met 
with several famous wigwams, with great heaps of pleasant corne 
ready shaled," which, not being able to bring away, they burnt. 
But the soldier speaks with pleasure and triumph of the wrought 
mattes " and delightful baskets" which were brought off as plun- 
der ; and after " having slain some fourteen, and maimed others," 
they embarked and sailed for Saybrook fort. This was the 
punishment inflicted upon a nation, women, and children, be- 
cause a man had been robbed and murdered by savages, most of 
whom were killed at the time. 

Underbill, continuing his narrative, says, " The Pequeats* 
having slaine one Captain Norton and Captain Stone, with seven 
more of their company, order was given us to visit them, Sayling 
along the Nahanticat shore with five vessels, the Indians spying 
us, came running along the water side crying, ' what cheere, Eng- 
lishmen, what cheer.'' What do you come for?' They not thinking 
we intended warre, went on cheerfully till they came to Pequeat 
river." They received no answer, the Englishmen thinking, as 
Underbill says, the better to " runne through the worke," and, by 
rendering them secure, " have the more advantage of them." At 
length the natives, suspecting hostility, asked " Are you angry .'' 
Will you kill us ? Doe you cojne to fight ?" And at night they 
raised alarm fires, and uttexed cries, to gather the people for re- 

* Pequot, the seat of Sasacus. was on the. site of New London, and, I presume, 
the Pequeat river of Underbill is the Thames. The Pallisade, first stormed by Ma- 
s»n ni>d UnderhiU, was near the Mvstic river. 


The next morning the natives sent an ambassador on board lb*.* 
vessels, " a grave senior, a man of understanding," " grave and 
majestical in his expressions." We are before told that the troops 
had an interpreter with them. This " grave senior" demanded 
for what purpose they came f and was told, to require the heads 
of those who had killed Norton and Stone. The ambassador did 
not deny that the Pequots had killed some men, whether English 
or not they could not tell ; and his story was, that before Norton 
and Stone came into the Pequod river, a vessel had come to them 
for traffic, and they had used them well and traded with them ; 
but the sachem going on board the vessel of the strangers was 
detained, and a bushel of wampum demanded for his ransom. To 
save their sachem they paid the price, and the traitors set him 
free, but how ? By killing him, and sending the corpse ashore in 
mocker}'. The Indians stifled their feeelings, but vowed re- 
venge. Shortly after came another vessel into their river to trade. 
This was the vessel of Captain Stone. The Pequots pretended 
friendly intercourse, and the son of the murdered sachem wentorj 
board and was received by the captain in his cabin, where, Stone 
" havino- drank more than did him irood," fell on his bed and 
slept. On which the young man, " having a little hatchet under 
his garment, therewith knockt him in the head." The crew of 
the vessel finding, too late, that the Indians, in great numbers, had 
boarded them with a hostile design, determined upon blowing up 
the vessel and destroying all on board ; but, before the torch was 
put to the magazine, the natives jumped overboard, and the ex- 
plosion destroyed only the English. 

Such .was the Indian's story, which, Underbill says, was false. 
It is the European who writes the book. " We have seen our 
sachem cruelly murdered — we have been cheated and rrsocked ! — 
could you blame u'3 for revenging so perfidious a deed ^ We 
knew not whether Dutch or English did it. All white men are 
the same to us. We revenge upon the white the injury received 
from the white !" Such was the justification of the free native of 
the soil. 

The answer was, that having slain the king of England's sub- 
jects they, the armed men, " came to demand an account of their 

" We have not wilfully wronged the English," is tlie Indians 
reply. " We crave pardon." The heads of those who caused 
the death of the English is the demand persisted in, and the mes- 
senger asks permission to go ashore and inform his people that 
these armed men had come for the head of their young sachem, 
and the heiids of all engaged in tiie afiair of Stone and Norton, or 
that they threatened vengeance on the nation. 
. " We did grant him liberty to go ashore, and ourselves followed 


suddenly after, before the vvarre was proclaimed." The ambas- 
sador seeing this, returned to them, and begged them to come no 
further until he had delivered his message. They, however, 
marcii to a commanding ground, and are drawn up in battle array. 
On the messenger's announcing that both the sachems had gone to 
Long Island, he was told that the sachem must appear, or they 
would " march through the country and spoyle the cornc." After 
an hour's delay, Underbill says, that an Indian was sent to an- 
nounce that Momncnoteck was found, and would come to them. 
The soldiers waited another hour, when another Indian came to 
inform them that the sachem, begging their patience, had called 
together the body of the Pequots, that he might find the men who 
had killed the English. In the mean time it was perceived that 
the Indians were hiding their " chiefest goods," and removing 
their wives and children ; " but we were patient," says Underbill, 
" and bore with them, in expectation to have the greater blow 
upon them." At length the English were requested, from the 
sachem, to lay down their arms, and move thirty paces from them, 
when he would cause his men to do the like, and then advance to 
a parley. 

This proposition was answered by beating a drum, displaying 
the English colours, and marching upon the defenceless wigwams 
and corn fields, firing on the natives as they tied before them, 
shooting '* as many as we could come near." The rest of the 
day was passed in gathering " bootie," and " burning and spoyling 
the country." No Indians came near them and they embarked, 
setting sail for " the Bay," (Massacluisetts) : " having ended this 
exploit," says Captain John, " one man wounded in the legge ; 
but certaine numbers of theirs slaine, and many wounded. This 
was the substance of the first year's service." 

Underbill begins his narration of the second year's service, by 
remarking that, " this insolent nation seeing we had vsed so mnch 
lenity towards them," were even more bold, "slew all they found," 
and advancing to Saybrook fort, dared the garrison to come out 
and fight. A lieutenant and ten men were silly enough to leave 
their defences. Three Indians appeared and fled. The English 
pursued and of course fell into an ambush, and in spite of their 
guns and defensive armour, some were slain, and others glad to 
fly for refuge to the fort. When next time the Indians appeared 
some were armed like Europeans, with the spoils taken the previous 
day, others were dressed in English clothes. They defied the 
garrison to come out " and fetch your Englishmen's clothes 
again !" with every taunt they could devise. 

" Connecticut plantation" sent a body of soldiers under Cap- 
tain John Mason, to strengthen the fort at Saybrook. Still it 
feared that force w^as necessary to defend it, and application was 



made for more men, to " Master Henry Vane," at " the bay." 
Massachusetts sent Captain Underhill with twenty men, and he 
took command of the place for three months, Mason returningf 
" to the plantation." Underhill made several sallies from the fort, 
himself and men being *' completely armed with corslets, muskets 
bandilliers, rests and swords." They saw no enemy ; though as 
they were afterwards told, the Indians were near, but seeing them 
so completely armed and covered, did not choose to appear and 
oppose their naked bodies to the steel-clad Englishmen, or their 
bows and arrows to swords and bullets. 

All was quiet about the fort, when suddenly as Underhill and 
his companions walked upon the rampart, they saw a fleet of canoes 
" come along in sight of us, as we stood upon Saybrook fort," 
bringing with them two English maidens captives, and poles hoist- 
ed in their boats in imitation of masts, on which were displayed 
instead of sails the clothing of English men and women. By this 
triumphal procession the garrison had intimation of some success- 
ful enterprise, which the PequoLs had achieved against an English 
town or plantation. 

They soon learned that with two hundred men the Indians had 
fallen upon Watertown, since called Weathersfield, slew nine 
meu;, women and children, and in this manner bore off their cap- 
tives in sight of the fort at Saybrook. Captain John fired a piece 
of ordnance at die canoes, and very nearly hit the boat in which 
the two captive maids were borne. 

The Indians encouraged by their successes continued their ef- 
forts to free their country from the English, which is attributed by 
Underhill to the instigation of " the old serpent." One Trille, a 
trader, anchored in Connecticut river for trade, not knowing the 
state of the hostilities existing; he and one of his men landed, and 
were murdered. Meanwhile the attack upon AVeathersfield 
roused the colonists to action. Massachusetts ordered succours, 
and Connecticut sent 100 soldiers under command of Captain 
John Mason, with orders to "rendevoos" at fort Saybrook, and 
consult with Underhill for the plan of operations against the In- 
dians. With the Connecticut troops came sixty Mohicans, who 
having been injured by the Pequots, as Underhill says, thirsted 
lor revenge ; but although the English suffered them to accom- 
pany the troops, they feared treachery, until the Mohicans un- 
aided by the English, defeated a party of the Pequots, and brought 
five heads in triumph to the fort. This they did while the Con- 
necticut troops were on board their vessels, and coming on slowly 
with contrary winds. 

The two young girls that had been carried away captives from 
Weathersfield, (the eldest of whom was but sixteen,) were restored 
to their friends by means of a Dutch vessel from New Anister- 


dam. The master was on a trading voyage, and stopped at Say- 
brook fort, where Underhill detained the vessel, declaring she 
should not supply the Pequots with necessaries or arms. The 
Netherlander agreed under a written contract, that if his vessel 
should be suffered to go free, he would make use of th.e oppor- 
tunity to procure the liberation of the two Weathersfield maidens, 
whose captivity was a subject of conversation and lament. Ac- 
cordingly the Netherlander sailed for Pequot, (now New London) 
and ofiered goods for the captives, but in vain. He then found 
means to induce seven of the Pequot warriors to come on board, 
and seizing them, made sail for the Sound. No offer of ransom 
would he accept, but an exchange was proposed of the seven men 
for the two girls. This being made known on shore, w-as agreed 
too, and faithfully performed ; ihe Dutch skipper most honoura- 
bly fulfilled his contract, and the maidens after many fears were 
restored uninjured to their friends. In the meantime, Underhill 
tells us, that the Dutch governor, who must from the time (1685) 
have been Wouter Van Twiller, having " heard that there 
were two English maids taken captive of the Pequots," manned 
out his own pinnace purposely to get these captives, what charge 
soever they were at, nay even at the hazard of war with the 
Pequots. Thus incidentally we have the testimony of an English 
writer to the gallant and honourable conduct of the Dutch of 

The reflections with which Captain John accompanies the tale 
of the captive maids, are in a strain of piety, little comporting with 
the story of his Boston penance of a kw years after. He, accord- 
ing to his book, was filled with christian feelings at this time towards 
all men — provided they were w'hite — or not arrayed in opposition 
to his party, or employer. But he tells us that the apostle says, 
^'■contend for the truth/' and that the Saviour told his disciples, " I 
came not to bring peace, but a sword." 

But as he says, *' to go on." The forces designed for the des- 
truction of the Pequots, instead of sailing directly from Saybrook 
fort, to " Pequeat river," stood for Narraganset bay, thereby de- 
ceiving the Indians into a false security. They landed and march- 
ed undiscovered, two days before they came to the Thames, or 
" to Pequeat." They passed the night within two miles of the royal 
fort, and had ample knowledge of the situation of the Indians, who 
being there in a state of security, knew nothing of the approach 
of the English and their INIohican allies. 

Doctor D wight* says, the Pequot fortress was near the river 
Mystic. Underhill thus describes it. " This fort or palizado was 
well-nie an aker of ground, which was surrounded by trees, and 
half trees set into the ground, three feet deep, and fastened close 

^ Dwight's Travels. 


to one another." The author for a clearer notion of the fort, refers 
his reader to " the figure of it before the booke," which is the 
most unintelhgible of the two, and evidently as untrue as it is 

Captain Mason allotted the w^estern entrance for himself, and 
ordered Underbill to attempt the southern. The soldiers sur- 
rounded the palisado, having their Indian friends encircling them 
again, and all were ordered to fire their muskets and arrows toge- 
ther, which was the first notice the sleeping Pequots had of an 
enemy. The English force had arrived, an hour after midnight, 
and made this simultaneous attack about daybreak. The crowd 
of men, women and children, thus started from their sleep, sent 
forth " a most doleful cry ; so as if God had not fitted the hearts 
of men for the service," says the gallant captain, " it would have 
bred in them a commiseration," towards this mass of beings devot- 
ed to death by fire and sword. " But every man being bereaved 
of pity, fell upon the work without compassion." Thus it is that 
man blasphemes the Most High and Most Merciful ! Underbill 
states that the nation had " slaine first and last about thirty persons." 

After this volley of balls and arrows, the assailants approached 
the palisades, and Underbill found the entrance, he was destined 
to force, so " stopped full with arms of trees and breaks," that 
the work was too much for him, and he ordered one master Hodge 
to the post of honour, with some other soldiers, to pull out those 
brakes, and lay them between him and the entrance. Master 
Hodge received an arrow through both arms. 

Underbill now paused to defend himself from a charge made 
against him in a book, to which this " voice from America" may be 
considered an answer ; it was said that he questioned a soldier when 
they came to the entrance, saying " shall we enter !" and was an- 
swered " \vhat came we hither for else !" This he stoutly denies, 
and says, it was never his " practice to consult with a private sol- 
dier, as to ask his advice in a point of warre."* 

He says, " Captain Mason and myself entered into the wig- 
wams, he was shot and received many arrows upon his head- 

* It is in the account of the Pequot war, or " the late batile fotight in New Eng- 
land &c. that P. Vuicent says, that Underhill when at the door of the Pequot fort, 
asked " What ! Shall we enter 1" and "one Hodjje, a vounc; Northamptonshire gen- 
tleman," answered, "what come we for else?" The Rev. Samuel Niles in his His- 
tory of Indian and French wars, says respecting the hesitation of Underhill, that he 
entered the Indian castle on the opposite side to Mason, but after him. Meeting 
with some ohstructions at the south-east entrance which occasioned some delay, at 
length a valiant and resolute gentleman, one Mr. Hodge, stepping towards the gate 
saying, "if we may not enter, wherefore came we here T' and entered after slaying 
his opponent, "a sttirdy Indian fellow." Niles died 1762, aged eight-eight years. 
Vincent printed his "'J'rue relation 1638." 

In 1637, the name of Newtown was changed to Hartford, and Watertown was 
called Wethersfield. The place now called Sachem's-head is so named because there 
the English beheaded several Sachems who refused to betray their countrymen by 
giving information. Trumbull, Vol. 1, Chap. 5th. 



piece," but received no wounds. " INIyself, " says Underbill, 
" received a shotte in tbe left bippe, tbrougli a sufiicient bufie 
coat, tliat if I bad not been supplied with sucb a garment, tbe 
arrowe would bave pierced througb me." But tbe " BufFe coat," 
a thick leather defence, was sufiicient to stop tbe weapon of tbe 
native, who was exposed naked to tbe bullet or sword of bis as- 
sailant. 'L'be captain says, be " received another between neck 
and shoulders, banging in tbe linnen of my bead-piece." Not- 
withstanding tbe two captains were unhurt, two of their men were 
killed, and twenty wounded. The Pequols fought bravely in defence 
of their bomes, their wives and their little ones ; and finding tbe 
place " too hot for us," Mason seized a *' fire-brand," and be set 
fire to the west side, while Underbill did the same on the south 
end " with a train of powder ; the fires of both meeting in the 
centre of tbe fort, blazed most terribly, and burned all in the space 
of half an hour ; many courageous fellows were unwilling to come 
out, and fought most desperately through tbe palisadoes :" from 
which it would appear that the English finding the place too hot, 
had set fire to tbe wigwams and retreated out of the fort. In vain 
the gallant Pequots fought — they were shot with bullets, by men 
covered with defensive armoui", from without — the fiamcs even 
rendered their bows useless by burning the bow-strings — " many 
were burned in tbe fort," says tbe narrator, " both men, women, 
and children ;" others escaping from tbe Europeans, were cut 
down by the circle of Narragansetls and Mohicans who formed an 
outer enclosure; but first they encountered the English, who " re- 
ceived and entertained" men, women, and children, in troops of 
twenty and thirty at a time " with tbe point of tbe sword." Not 
above five out of 400 escaped tbe massacre. 

" Great and doleful was the bloody sight to the view of young sol- 
diers that never bad beene in warre ;" but Captain Jolni was inured 
to such carnage, and besides, he could justify putting the weak and 
defenceless to death, for says he, " the Scripture declareth women 
and children must perish with their parents" — " We bad sufiicient 
light from tbe word of (lod for our proceedings." 

Before Mason's troops were received by their vessels which 
had been ordered to meet them at a given point, they bad several 
skirmishes with tbe natives, wdii(;b were principally managed by 
his Indian allies. Underbill and bis command returned to Say- 
brook fort, and ISlason having been joined by Captain Patrick 
with forty men, burned and spoiled tbe country between " the Pe- 
queat and Connecticutt riVer." 

Sassacus in vain ifrged war to tbe destruction of the invaders; 
but the Indians were generally discouraged, thinking it vain to 
contend with men so superior in offensive and defensive arms. 
They prevailed, and destroying what they could not take with 

VOL. I. li 


them, abandoned the country. Underhill's time of service being 
expired, he returned " to the Bay." tStoughton with one hundred 
well appointed soldiers, joined in the destruction of " the distressed 
Indians; some they slew, others they tooke prisoners." Such 
ai-e the last words of the book of Captain John Underhill. 

But Captain John had not served in the Netherlands without 
bringing away some of the frailties of the camp, and we are told 
by Bancroft, upon the authority of Hubbard, that although his 
Dutch lady was with him, the Captain had been compelled, for 
the purpose of regaining his good name, to appear before a great 
assembly at Boston, in the year 1640, and confess his fault on 
lecture day, during a session of the general court, dressed in the 
rueful habit of a penitent, to stand upon a platform, and with sighs 
and tears, and brokenness of heart, and all the marks of contrition 
and aspect of sorrow, to beseech the compassion of the congrega- 
tion. This, the above authorities say, was in consequence of 
certain gallantries which would probably only have served as tro- 
phies in the course of a warrior's career in the Netherlands. 

Whether this was the cause of removal or not, certain it is that 
Captain John, in the year 1G41, removed to Long Island, where 
his Dutch wife and Dutch language, as well as reputation for va- 
lour, recommended him to the inhabitants and to Governor Kieft. 

Before his fall and repentance, as we have seen. Captain John 
had gained reputation in the war with the Pequots. His religious 
zeal had attached him to Mrs. Hutchinson, and the banishment of 
that lady from New England, may have been one cause of the 
Captain's removing to the New Netherland, as her death by the 
hands of the savages may have embittered him against the natives. 

It appears that this war between the Indians and New Nether- 
land continued for two years, and Underhill did good service. 
His military reputation enabled him to raise a considerable num- 
ber of men under Kieft's authority, and his skill gave them dis- 
cipline. They were composed of Dutch and English. With 
this corps he is said to have terminated the opposition of the In- 
dians on Long Island, by the destruction of 400, at a place still 
called Fort-neck, in the township of Oysterbay, but on the south 
side of the island, being a neck of land projecting into the sea, and 
on the estate at present of David S. Jones, Esq. 

At this place, it is said that the Indians threw up works for de- 
fence, and sent their women and children to some Islands in the 
bay adjacent, which to this day are called Squaw Islands from this 
circimistance. Underbill, with his corps of dfeeiplined Euro- 
peans, attacked the Indian fort, carried it and put to death the 
champions of their country's independence. Here, for a time, lie 
established a garrison to prevent a reunion of the tribes. 

Tradition likewise says, that Kieft and his friend Underbill de- 



feated the Indians upon the main land, after a hard fought battle 
at Strickland's plain, Throgs-neck.* After the battle of Strick- 
land's plain, the war was terminated by the interference of the Iro- 
quois, whose mediation Kieft contrived to engage. These con- 
querors among savages, negociated a peace between the Dutch 
and the New Jersey and river Indians. As sovereigns, they as- 
sembled the tribes of the Delawares at New Amsterdam, and the 
sachems of the Raritans, Manhattoes, Mohicans, and others ac- 
knowledging the superiority of the Iroquois and submitting to 
their arbitration, appeared upon the space between the Dutch fort 
of Amsterdam and the bay, and attested the sun to witness another 
treaty of peace between them and tiie Director-general. 

'L'his is the last account I have of the battles of Captain John 
Underbill, whose Indian warfare has stamped him the hero of 
Long Island, as far as heroism depends upon the power or incli- 
nation to destroy. It will be seen that although a friend of Kieft's, 
he was not so of his successor, Stuyvesant, during whose admin- 
istration Underbill endeavoured to get up another Indian war, in 
which he would willingly have involved the English, on the one 
part, against the Dutch and natives, on the other. After the En- 
glish conquests, he held the civil office of high-constable. The 
Hon. Silas Woodt tells us that under the government of Nicolls, 
he attained to the office of sheritf of Queens county, and received 
from the friendly Indians a gift of 150 acres of land, whicii re- 
mains with his descendants of the same name, to the present time ; 
and having shown his prudence and judgment, by securing to 
his posterity some of the best land on Long Island, he died on 
his own territories in the year 1672, and lies buried in the ceme- 
tery of the very pleasant village of Oysterbay. 

Kieft's fame is not so unclouded. After a stormy life he ap- 
pears to have ended it in a tempest. Again he was involved, 
and inextricably, in hostility with his savage neighbours : towards 
the end of his turbulent administration he incurred the displeasure 
of all the Dutch colonists of any respectability, by an atrocious 
act intended to destroy or weaken the power of the natives. A 
party of the Iroquois, probably Mohawks, as they were the nearest 
of the confederacy to the Dutch settlements, appeared advancing 
towards Manhattoes in warlike array, for the purpose of collecting 
tribute from the river Indians, and others in the neighbourhood. 
The latter unprepared for the visit, had gathered on the west side 
of the Hudson, seeking protection or mediation from the Dutch: 
but Kieft, instead of seizing the opportunity to conciliate the 
neighbouring tribes, took advantage of the occasion to perpetrate 

* This name is derived from an owner of the land, Throgmorton. It was famijr 
iarly caHed Throgsneck, and after changed to Frogsneck. 
t History of Long Island. 

84 kieft's massacre. 

an infamous massacre, by sacrificing the fugitives. With the 
soldiers of the fort, joined to the worthless and unthinking of 
the populace, and the privateersmen or others, from the vessels 
in the harbour, he crossed the Hudson and fell upon the defence- 
less, unsuspecting natives, and murdered indiscriminately men, 
women and children, during a night of horrors. 

Those who escaped, and the inhabitants of the neighbouring 
country joined to revenge this gross and faithless deed of blood. 
Again the innocent cuhivators suffered all the miseries attendant 
upon savage warfare. Kieft was justly and loudly accused as the 
audior of another war. The inhabitants of the colony complained 
to the authorities at home, and the Director-general was recalled 
by the Dutch West India Company. He embarked with his 
riches, for while others suffered, he had accumulated wealth ; but 
the ship was wrecked on the coast of Wales, and the unhappy 
governor drowned.* 

The colony Kieft had to govern was certainly not composed of 
the best materials. It neither had the advantages of the puritan 
setdement of the east, nor the Virginia colony of the south. The 
Swedes on the Delaware, were of a higher character, and so were, 
subsequently, the Quakers of Pennsylvania and West Jersey. 
The colonists of New Netherlands in general, particularly in New 
Amsterdam, at the first, were mere traders seeking gain ; and in 
Kieft's time, a motley set of grasping petty merchants, mercenary 
soldiers, privateersmen and other sailors, with a few planters and 
very worthy emigrants from Holland, constituted the people. The 
W^est India Company, whose servant Kieft was, had little else in 
view than gain. They threw a negro slave population from their 
African settlements into the colony. Even in the boasted times 
of the Georges of England and of the elder Pitt, (Lord Chatham,) 
colonial policy in Europe was calculated altogether for the profit of 
the mother country. When Chatham opposed certain oppressive 
measures adopted by England, it was only because he had the 
sagacity to see, that by bending the bow too far, it would break. 
He was willing to strain to the utmost. "Parliament could bind 
the colonies in all cases. The colonists should not be allowed to 
manufacture even fi hob-nail." If such were the maxims of Eu- 
ropean government in this enlightened time, and with this great 

♦ Sir William Kieft was still in New Amsterdam on the 2oth July, 1647 (as ap- 
pears by a proclamation of Governor Stuvvesant,) and was acting as one of the Gov- 
ernor's council, (MSS. translated by Mr. Westbroolc for Common Council of New 
York ) That he sailed from the New Netherlands during that year, we learn from 
Dr. Vanderdonck, who says " the ship Princess, in which he cnibarkcd, deposited 
him and his trcasuros at the bottom of the ocean." Albany Records, Vol. 2d : De 
Vries, Hubbard, Trumbull, &c. 

KIEFT. 85 

Statesman, after the present constitution of Great Britain had given 
security and liberty to Englishmen, what are we to look lor in 
Kieft's time, when England was involved in the darkness preced- 
ing her revolution of 1688, and when the true theory of a repre- 
sentative government was little understood and scarcely practised 
in other parts of the civilized world. It follows that the colonial 
government of New JNctherland was, in some measure, arbitrary 
— meant for the benefit of the West India Company. Kieft was 
pressed upon by the puritans on the eastern border, and by the 
Swedes on his western : while such English as mingled in his 
population were ever in opposition to his rule, as they were im- 
bued with the light of republicanism from New England. Such 
were his difficulties, and they continued under his successor 
Stuyvesant, although his superior wisdom and energy redeemed 
the colony, in a great measure, from the evils which surrounded it.* 

* Many have been Indian-killers : some have wished to save and iiistrHct ihcm : 
the teachers have been few imlecd. 

The pious and generous labours of Elliot and Mayhew to make christians and civil- 
ized men, have handed down their names with honour to posterity, although the fruits 
of their cultivation were of little worth. Dr. Dwight represents the scarity remains 
of the Mohicans in 1820-1, as living upon the land reserved for tlicm in the township 
of Moiitvillc, a lazy, sauntering life, principallv subsisting upon the rish of ihe neigh- 
bouring streams. In 1774. there were here 206, in Sionington '237, in Grotoii 18G, 
in Lyme 104, in Norwich 61, and in Preston 30. Now, I presume (1839) these 
numbers are reduced to almost nothing. Of the Stockbridgc Indians, Dr. Dwigiu 
tells us, from undoubted authority, that in 1734, John Sargeant of New Jersey devoted 
himself to teaching them, and others joined in the labour. Many submitlcd to bap- 
tism. In 1751, Mr. Edwards of New Jersey succeeded Sargeant, and in 1757. the 
son of Sargeant took charge of the people, and they subsequently removed to New 
Stockbridge in the state of New York. They are considered as the oldest branch of 
the Mohicans, and those remaining have the character of being a little superior to 
other half-civilized Indians. The Indians of Stonington are described by the same 
author in 1821-2, as a poor degraded miserable race of beings : they are descendants 
of the heroic Pequots. They live in part on the lands reserved for Ihern. and in part 
among the neighbouring farmers as servants. Prodigal as lazy, stupid, lying thieves ; 
dirty, half naked drunkards. A few exceptions occasionally occur. At Cape Cod 
or its neighbourhood, is a place called Massapee, occupied by Indians, and at Yar- 
mouth once stood an Indian church. Ainong the last relics, says Dr. Dwight, of the 
efforts "successfully made for the conversion of the Indians to Christianity," he 
states that at one timo there were in New England " not far from ten thousand pray- 
ing Indians." But he says that the attempts '• which have l)een made in modern 
times to spread the influence of the gospel among them, have in a great measure 
been unsuccessful." This he attributes to the opinion prevalent among them, that 
the whites are their enemies, and to the general conduct of the whites towards them 
and each other. In fact, the Indian converts, so called, or praying Indians, did not 
and could not know or feel any thing of real Christianity either in New England or 
elsewhere ; they were merely deteriorated savages, ready to return to savage life and 
savage murders at any opportunity ; and by degrees sunk to the state above describ- 
ed, at Stonington. 

In the township of Paris, state of New York, is an Indian reserve six miles square 
called Brothertown. These Indians are Oneidas, Mohicans, and others. In 1821-2 
Dr. Dwight says, there were forty families of agriculturists. Three of them have 
framed houses. Their husbandry is of inferior character. A school-house is built 
for them by the state, and a quaker was teaching the children. 



Swedes on the Delaware — Mimdts — Printz — The Stuarts — 
Colonization of New England — Doctor Vayiderdonck — Peter 
Stuijvesant — Controversy with the commissioners of the united 
New England Colonies — Charges against Stuyvesant as con- 
spiring with the Indians to cut o£' the English, denied and 

While the thriving colonies of New England occupied the at- 
tention of Kieft in one direction, and the Indians required all his 
military force near the Hudson, the art or revenge of Minuits, his 
predecessor, planted a thorn within his side on the Delaware 
which he had no power to remove. 

John Printz, a Swedish colonel of cavalry, was appointed gov- 
ernor of New Sweden, and in 1642 arrived in the Delaware, 
where previous to his commg Jost de Bogadt had ruled. With 
Colonel Printz came the Rev. John Campancies, the future histo- 
rian of the new territory. An addition to the colony of several 
vessels with emigrants had accompanied Printz, and he establish 
ed himself on the island of Tormekong, near the mouth of the 
Schuylkill, which was in 1643, granted to him by the crown of 
Sweden, and there he built a house for himself, and a fort, which 
he called New Gottenbursh. His dwellinij; was somewhat am- 
bitiously denominated Printz-lioff, but he did not neglect to erect 
in his rjeighbourhood a place for public worship. He confirmed 
the purchase made by Minuits from the natives, added presents to 
conciliate their good will, and was repaid for his just government 
by the friendship of the Indians and the prosperity of the Swedes. 

Printz, by permission of his sovereign, Christina, resigned his 
government to John Papcgoa., who was succeeded by John 
Risingh, of whom I shall have occasion to speak hereafter. 

The reader of American history can have no just view of his 
subject without reference to the events in operaUon at the time in 
Europe, and to their causes, particularly ia J^ngland, and as it re- 
spects New York, in Holland, 

When James I. in 1603, escaped from the thraldom of his 
Scottish Barons, each oue of whom felt himself a prince, according 
to the feudal system, the son of the misguided and probably 
guilty Mary, found himself a successor to the tyrannic power the 
Tudors had established in England. James found the people 
who had served Elizabeth on their knees ready to kneel to him ; 
and, although his tongue gave him the lie, he said, " I am Eng- 

stuahts. 87 

land." He was however, a king, and he hated the Netherlanders 
because they had tin-own off the yoke of a tyrant. He called them 
rebels ; yet from a dread of the power of the house of Austria, he 
joined with France in establishing that republic to which we owe 
the foundation of New York. 

But the first of the Stuarts found already diffused among his 
English subjects, though not apj)arent to his view, a vigorous and 
youthful spirit that had been cherished by the early reformers, and 
which was teaching them that they had rights and property ; to 
secure which they must aim at self-government. The grand- 
modier of James, had in a moment ol passion, declared to the 
lords of the congregation in Scotland, that " the promises of 
princes were only considered binding by them while they favoured 
their kingly interests ;" and although the descendants of the 
queen-regent continued to act on this principle, the people of 
England had not forgotten the caution conveyed by the words. 

To counteract the growing desire for self-government and se- 
curity of property, James I. cherished the prelacy and listened 
wiUi delight to the courtly bishop, who, in answer to the king's 
royal question, "Have I not a right to take the subject's money 
without his consent .'"' said " certainly, sire, for you are the breath 
of our nostrils."* 

That Charles L, so educated, by such teachers, should raise a 
rampart of prelacy around the throne, the crown and what he had 
been taught were his rights, to oppose the puritanism of the peo- 
ple and the liberty of thought, was to be expected. The ray of 
truth, when it has entered into man, increases until it is a perfect 
day. Interest, passion, selfishness, are the clouds which obscure 
it, and around Charles they formed a veil thick as night. That he 
should stretch the prerogative to breaking ; raise up Laud and the 
bishops, or any others, as the instruments of his tyranny, and so 
use them until he brought his head to the scaffold; that he should 
employ ship-money for the purpose of oppressing the Dutch, and 
taxing the seas, by making that people pay him for the privilege 
of taking food from it, may not surprise us. He had been 
taught and willingly believed that he had a right so to do. But 
that the people who had sought refuge in the wilds of New Eng- 
land from kingly and priestly tyranny, should at the same time, 
be usurping and exercising power over the New Netherlands, and 
encroaching upon men and their territory with no other pretence 
or claim than that derived from prelacy and monarchy, is an 
anomaly that must give us pain. 

* "Put not your trust in Princes," was the scriptural quotation made use of by 
Wentworlh, Lord Strafford, when he said that Charles I., contrary to his kingly 
promise, had signed his death-warrant. 


Sir William Kieft and the New Netherlanders were accused by 
New England of " hostile aggression." He very justly compared 
the accusation to that of the wolf in the fable, who, seeking a 
quarrel with the lamb, a desirable object for his appetite, charged 
the devoted victim with having disturbed the waters of the stream 
from which his wolfship was drinking, at the source, by pre- 
suming to quench his thirst at an humble distance, lower down. 

The English puritans had found hospitality, place of refuge and 
employment in preference to other foreigners, among the protest- 
ant republicans of Holland. During their residence among them 
they learned that the Dutch had found and taken possession of a 
New Batavia in America, and the English refugees were encour- 
aged to seek a New England on the same continent beyond the 
sea, where no king or prelate — no court of high conmiission or 
star chamber would seize on their property, or control their con- 
sciences. The Mayflower arrived at Plymouth, a free constitu- 
tion for the government of the voluntary exiles was formed on her 
deck. They landed on snow-covered rocks, and amidst the 
wilds founded an empire. 

The admiring natives received their visiters as friends ; and, 
without comprehending their motives for desiring property in the 
soil, they gave, or sold, their land for what was to them valuable, 
and to the strangers of little worth. Many and sore were the af- 
flictions of the little band of republicans, but they were consoled 
by the purity of their motives and the presence of civil and reli- 
gious liberty. They established laws for their own government. 
They founded a seminary for their children's education, as the only 
security for the laws they established. They increased and pros- 
pered ; for the good and the wise sought their society. But for 
the jealousy and fears of the first Charles, those giants, before 
whom he trembled, Hampden, Hazlerigg, and Cromwell, would 
have become a peaceful portion of the Plymouth band of brothers : 
perhaps Pym might have joined them, and the unhappy Went- 
worth, who deserted the cause of the people for riches, power, 
and the fatal name of iSlraffbrd, might have lived to rivet chains on 
his country. 

It seems strange that Hume could imagine no other motive for 
John Hampden's desire for a retreat in New England but that of 
hearing long prayers and long sermons. The historian, when he 
wrote, knew of the prosperity of the colonies, and even predicted 
their independence. Could he not have thought and believed 
that Hampden would have employed himself in promoting that 
prosperity and laying the foundation of that knowledge which was 
to preserve and increase it. 

Happy and prosperous as the puritans were in New England, 
they looked with envy on their neighbours of New Netherland, 


who had preceded them in settling on a more genial soil, and be- 
side rivers greater and better fitted for commerce than had fallen 
to their lot. The Dutch trading house, on Fresh or Connecticut 
river, excited Uieir jealousy, and they founded pretensions on the 
claims made by England to a right over the three great streams 
possessed by the Dutch — the Delaware, Hudson, and Connec- 
ticut. The latter being the nearest, was first invaded. Colonies 
traversed the wilderness from Massachusetts, first to the Dutch 
Hmfs Goed-hoiK, and began to build Hartford, and then farther 
south to New Haven, and even to Delaware.* 

Writers, both English and American have endeavoured to cast 
ridicule upon the complaints of Governor Kieft, made in his pro- 
tests and remonstrances to the government of New England ; yet 
the grievances he states are precisely those which a stronger 
neighbour, intending to drive off a weaker from the soil he co- 
veted, would indict upon him. The tiller of the earth is inter- 
rupted in his labour ; the horses are driven from their accustomed 
pasture in the meadows ; the servants of the weaker are beaten by 

* Several purchases vvcre made of the Indians during Kiefi's administration. In 
1643 llie people of Hempstead bought a large quantity of land from the natives. He 
entered into articles of agreement with Tachpoussic , chief of the Indians of that 
name, in 1656, by which they j)ut themselves under the protection of the Dutch go- 
vernment, M'ith all their lands on Long Island, as far as the Dutch line extended, ac- 
cording to the Irnaty of Hartford, promising mutual assistance. This agreement was 
made at the Fort, in New Amsterdam, March 12, 1C56. The year before, the sa- 
chem of Selasacott (Brookhaven) sold a district of land in that quarter, and the 
sa<samorc of Long Island sold Great-neck to the same. 

In 1645 Kieft granted the town of Flushing to Thomas Huntington, John Hicks, 
and others, and empowered them to choose for their own government a scout or con- 
stable, with the powers of a scout in Holland, or constable in England, they paying 
one-tenth, if demanded, e.vccfit for one acre. 

The intelligent and patriotic industry of the Hon. Silas Wood, of Huntington, has 
given us a picture of the state of Long Island about this time. He says that, in 
lfi4G, at the first town-meeting held by the people of Gravescnd, every inhabitant 
was (or was ordered) to make twenty poles offence, to enclose a common field for 
corn, and in 1648 a fence was ordered, in like manner, for a calf pasture. 

To show that the first settlers in this part of our state were not obliged to clear 
their land, but, on the contrary, were an.xious to preserve forest trees, we arc told 
that, in 1654, " the town of South Old passed arcsolution, that no person should cut 
trees, or sell wood, from their common lunds, for pipe-staves or heading, or other pur 
poses, to any person not being a townsman, icithoul the total's liberty. And, five 
years after, the town of Huntington prohibited the cutting timber, for sale, within 
three miles of the settlement." And, in subsequent years, p^isscd similar resolu- 
tions. Oysterbay and Newtown made similar laws ot) this subject. 

It was the custom of these early settlers of Long Island to employ herdsmen, who 
drove their cattle to pasture. In 1658, and subsequently, the cattle of Hempstead 
were driven as far as Cow-neck. (So named from the custom.) The cattle of Hunt- 
ington were, at times, driven to Horse-neck. 

As the Indian mode of clearing was not in use with the settlers, the brush and 
underwood increased to the din\inutiou of the pasturage, and we find that, in 167*, 
the governor and court of assize ordered, that the inhabitants of Long Island, from 
the age of si.xteen to that of si.xty, should turn out four days in every year to cut 
down brush and underwood. Similar regulations were made by the towns, at va- 
rious i)enods. 

VOL. I. 12 

90 f. aTUYVESANT. 

those of tlie stronger. This was hard to hear by the fir&t jnu- 
chaserand occupant; a member of a republic, which had recently 
thrown off the yoke of Spain, and carried her growing com- 
merce to the extremes of the earth: and to be borne from the des- 
cendants of exiles, who, however prosperous, only flourished 
through the neglect of the mother country, while she was engaged 
in civil contention.* 

Kieft, as we have seen, was unequal to the contest with New 
England and New Sweden, and left the struggle to be continued 
by an abler head and a firmer hand. 

Peter Stuyvesant is described by tradition, (and by all 
1647 our writers,) as brave and honest; recently from Curacoa, 
where he had been vice-director. He had been wounded 
in an attack upon St. Martin's, was a soldier and mariner, (ac- 
cording to the fashion of that day, when both professions were 
united in the same person, as in the celebrated Blake and noto- 
rious Monk,) and was likewise a scholar, of more depth than 

* In 1645 Dr. VarKlcrdonk, who resided here before and after this date, tells us, 
that ihc Dutch, initnedialely upon turning thtir attention to ajjricullure, introduced 
horses and cattle of various lireeds. Hogs, that have always had possession of the 
city, fatlenod, in Vanderdonk's time, upon acorns, on the same ground where now 
they precede the street cleaners ; but the best pork was found tiien, as now, that 
which was fed upon maize. Sheep were more plentiful in New England than with 
the Dutch ; and the Yankees already made good use of their wool. Goals were pre- 
ferred to slieej) by the Nethsriandcrs of 1645. 

From the same author we may learn, that Sir William Kieft, in 164-5, made a 
treaty with the Iroquois in Albany. He savs, " at the time when we were employ- 
ed in confunction will) the magistrates and officers of Rcnsselaerwyck, in negociating 
a treaty of peace with the Maquas Indians, who were, and still are, the fiercest and 
strongest Indian nation in the country ; at which treaty the Director-general William 
Kieft, on the'one purt, and the chiefs of the Indian nations, of the neighbouring na- 
tions, on the other [lart, attended." They had the services of an interpreter, who 
understood all the dialects of the confederated Iroqtiois. This Indian interpreter 
lodged in the same house with Kieft, and one morn'ng, in the presence of the go- 
vernor and author, connnenccd his toilet by jiainting his face, and. Upon examining 
the substance he used, they thought, " from its greasy and shining ap|)carance, that 
it coii'tained some valuable metal." They purchased a portion of it from the Indian 
and gave it to a skilful doctor of Medicine, " Johannes do la Montague, a counsellor 
of New Nelherland." 

The lunr|) of mineral paint was put in a crucible and' tried by fire. It yielded two 
pieces of gold worth about three guilders. " This proof," says the doctor, " was kept 
secret ;" and', when the treaty was concluded, an olliccr and a few men were sent 
to the mountain- or hill which the Indian interpreter designated as the place from 
which the paint was taken, and a bucket-full' was brought to the gold-seekers. The 
orticcr ifid not ol>.?ervc any indications of a mine having been worked at the 
place. This yielded as nnich as the first c.vperirnent. The governor sent a speci- 
men of this paint, mineral, or ore, to the Netherlands," by Arent Cooper," who took 
jiassage from New Haven for England, and was never more heard of. 

When Sir William Kieft sailed from the Now Netherlands, which wo know was after 
the last of July, lG47.he took with him, in the ship Princess, specimens of this and 
other mincruls, which were all dc|)osited at the bottom of the ocean. The gold 
mountain has never appeared again. I notice this attempt at gold finding for its his- 
torical value, and not for the worth of the mineral. 


either occupation would lead us to expect. He arrived as Go- 
vernor of New Netherlands, Curacoa and their dependencies, in 
May 1(547. The loss of a leg impressed the colonists with a con- 
firmation of his valour; and the suhstitution of a memher, en- 
circled with silver plates, has given rise to the fable of the z'dhcr 
hcc7i, or silver leg. 

His successful endeavours to conciliate the Indians was one 
prominent cause of the jealousy of the neighbouring colonies of 
New England, and of the atrocious charge which they and some 
of the Long Island English brought against him, of plotting to 
employ the savages for their destruction by a general massacre. 

I will endeavour to make as plain as possible to my reader the 
long-continued controversy between the New England commis- 
sioners and the New Netherlanders, which was necessarily conti- 
nued, from where Kieft's administration left it, through the greater 
part of the rule ofPetrus Stuyvesant, taking colour more or less from 
the events passing in Europe, particularly in England and in Hol- 
land ; at times threatening war between the colonists of those 
nations, and uniformly keeping them in a state of irritation. To 
be better understood, it will, perhaps, be best to keep this quarrel 
and its negotiations distinct from other matters.. 

The year before the arrival of Petrus Stuyvesant, 
1G4G " William Kieft Director-general, and the Senate of New 
Netherland for the States," addressed Theophilus Eaton, 
governor of the place called "the Red Hills hi New Netherland, 
but by the English called New Havcn,''^ giving notice that tho 
English " without provocation, and contrary to the law of nations, 
and the league of amity existng between Holland and England," 
had entered New Netherland, usurped divers j)laces, done in- 
juries, and not giving satisfaction when rcrpiired : for these reasons, 
and "because," says Kieft, " you have determined to fasten your 
foot near Mauritms river," to disturb trade, " we protest against 
you as breakers of the peace, and if you do not make reparation, 
we shall use such means as God affords, manfully to redress our- 
selves. Given at Fort Amsterdam, August the third, 1G46." 

Eaton in his reply, says, he knows no such river as MauritiuSy 
unless Kieft means what the English call Hudson's river. Nei- 
ther have " we entered upon any place" to which " you have 
any tide, or in any way injured you." He however acknowledges 
that his countrymen have " lately built a small house upon Paw- 
gusett river, which falls into the sea in the midst of the English 
plantations" many leagues from tho Manhattoes, or any part of 
Hudson's river. At this " Small house," he says, they expect to 
*vade, but not by force, the Indians being free to traffic with Dutch 
or English : and that before building, purchase was made of the 
soil from the "true proprietors." He refers to former protests 


made by the English, stating injuries received from the Dufchyto 
which unsatisfactory answers were returned. He offers to refer 
the differences to their superiors in Europe, and feels assured 
that his " Sovereign Lord, Charles, King of Great Bi'itain, and 
the Parliament now assembled, will maintain their own rights ;" 
dated " New Haven the twelfth of August, 1646, old style." 

Taking the above into consideration, the commissioners of the 
United JNew England colonies, (met according to the confedera- 
tion of 1643,) addressed the Dutch Director-general, Sir Wil- 
liam Kieft, and state that they have seen a complaint made to 
him by the colony of Massachusetts, of injuries done to the inha- 
bitants of Hartford, by Kieft's agent upon Fresh river, three years 
ago, to which complaint the governor had " returned ignoramus.''^ 
They further say, that Kieft's agent has grown insufferably bold, 
and complain that "an Indian captive, Viable to j^uhlic imnisJunenty 
"who fled from her master" at Hartford,, is entertained at the 
Dutch house "at Hartford ;" and though required to be "given 
up" is, as they hear, either married to, "or abused by one of your 
men. Such a. sxrvajit is part of Iter master'' s estate^ and a more con- 
sider ahlc jjart than a hcast,^^ They further complain that Kieft's 
agent drew his rapier upon the watch at Hartford, and broke it 
upon their weapons. They call this a ^'"proud affront ;'''' and say, 
that if he had been slain, " his blood would have been upon his 
own head." 

Such was the state of affairs when Stuyvesant entered 
1G47 upon the government of New Netherland. Such conti- 
nued to be the complaints reciprocated from the Dutch 
and English colonists, during the confiict between Charles the 
first, and the parliament of England.* 

But when royalty had been put down, and the parliament from 
a consciousness of acting a part, for which they were not elected 
by the people, wished by the exertion of their power on foreigners 
to draw tiic attention of men from themselves, then they made war 
upon the states of Holland ; and our neighbours of New England 
thought they had a good opportunity to prefer more serious 
charges against the Dutch of New Nellierland, who were under 
the direction of Petrus Stuyvesant; for though tbey knew that 
his character stood high for abilities, and that as an honourable 

* Tlicse criminations and recriminations continued unto the month of September 
1046, at which time it was that Kieft said, " Certainly when we hear the inhabitants 
of Hartford complain of us, we seem to hear Esop's wolfe complaining of the kmb." 
And he protests " against all you commissioners met at the Red Mminls, as against 
breakers of the common league, and also infringers of the special right of the lords 
of the States, our superiors, in that ye have dared without express commission to 
hold your general meeting within the limits of New Netherland. These things arc 
spoken from the duty of our place, in other respects we are, your, &c. &c." 


veteran, he had been rewarded by the states with the government 
of their West India territories in the islands and on the continent, 
for services done, and blood shed in l!ie cause of his coinitry ; on 
the other hand they looked lor sii|)[)ort from the dominant party al 
home, in any attempt upon the Dutch colony. The commis- 
sioners being determined on a quarrel, charged this honourable 
gentleman with the base design of stimulating the Indians to a 
massacre of all the English, whether in their own colonies, or in 
the towns of Long Island under the Dutch jurisdiction. Such a 
design would have been as foolish as it was atrocious. If tStuy- 
vesant wished to be on friendly terms with the savages, who sur- 
rounded him, it was both politic and praiseworthy ; and if, in 
case the English proved hostile, he should determine to defend 
himself by the aid of the Indians, it would be only what pru- 
dence and necessity demanded from the weaker party, and what 
men in more tnligktcned days have done. But, by an examina- 
tion of the documents which have come down to us, I find that 
the Dutch governor used every eflbrt to preserve peace with his 
powerful neighbours, whether red or white. 

We must bear in mind, during this examination, that Oliver 
Cromwell put an end to the Rump parliament, and assumed the 
administration of English affairs in April, 1G53. It was his wish 
to be at peace with Holland, and to bring about an union of the two 
republics of England and the Netherlands; but his policy dictated 
previously a threatening aspect towards the Dutch colonies in 
America, and the New England commissioners, or Congress of 
Deputies from the New England colonies, showed no reluctance 
to enter into a war with Petrus Stuyvesant, but, a peace being con- 
cluded between Cromwell and the States, the intention was for a 
time suspended. 

After the arrival of Governor Stuyvesant as the Director-general 
of New Netherland, Sir William Kieft remained and acted as one 
of his council — until, at least, the latter part of July, 1G47 ; and 
we must suppose that the sagacious ruler made himself master of 
all the particulars in dispute with Indians, Swedes, and English. 

On the 17th of June, the commissioners being in session at 
Boston, address Governor Stuyvesant in consequence of certain 
duties or customs imposed by the Government of New Amster- 
dam upon the traders to " Manhattoes," which are complained of 
as too high. The commissioners likewise complain of a "disor- 
derly trade" carried on by the Dutch, in selling to the Indians 
" guns, powder, and shot." The letter is temperate, and they 
conclude it thus: "With our due respects to yourself and the 
late Governor, Monsieur Kieft, we rest your loving friends, the 
Commissioners of the United Colonies." 


On the 25th of June, Governor Stuyvesant expressed his desire 
to meet the Governor of Massachusetts and others " to reconcile 
present, and to prevent all future occasions of contestation." But 
no such happy meeting appears to have taken place ; and the 
commissioners loudly complained that in October, 1G47, iStuyve- 
sani demanded from New Haven certain fugitives, " as if," say 
the New England congress, '• the place and jurisdiction" had been 
Ids; whereas they claim as belonging to the Kings of England 
" all this part of America called New England, in breadth from 
40 to 48 degrees of northerly latitude, which they assert is granted 
to the English, and the inhabitants of New Haven had right to 
improve a small portion thereof." 

Stuyvesant, on his part, about the same time, October 12th, 
1647, stated very honestly to the commissioners the claim made 
by the Dutch to all lands, rivers, and streams, from cape Henlopen 
to cape Cod. 

Such conflicting claims were very difficult to be adjusted ; 
however, I find that, on the 15th of November following, the 
Director-general of New Netherland professed to the Governor 
of New Haven his " readiness for a fayre and neighbourly com- 
posure of differences." It appears that he wrote other letters to 
the Governors of New Haven and Plymouth, desiring a meeting 
in Connecticut, " not doubting that mutual satisfaction would be 
given to each other in every respect." 

These prospects were all illusory ; for Stuyvesant com- 
164S plained next year that the English forbade the Indians of 
Long Island to sell any land to the Dutch, " notwith- 
standing," as he says, " the said land" was possessed by the 
Netherlanders long before any English came there. He further 
says, that on Connecticut river they have so enclosed and pos- 
sessed the land that the commissioner of the Dutch and his family 
cannot live. 

On the lOth of September, 1648, the New England commis- 
sioners, though still subscribing themselves the Governor's loving 
friends, tell him peremptorily that the traders, whether mariners 
or merchants, of the Dutch, may expect no more liberty within 
the English plantations than the English find at the INIanhattoes; 
and that if, " upon search," there is found in any Dutch vessel, 
within the English jurisdiction, any qitantity of powder, shot, &c. 
" fit for that mischievous trade whh the Indians," such merchan- 
dize shall be seized. 

Shortly after this, the commissioners determine tliat, as the 
Dutch will not permit their trade with the Indians within the New 
Netherlands, and charge great customs upon the English vessels, 
and " force them to anchor in very inconvenient places," they 
will bar the Dutch from trading with their (the New Englanders') 
Indians, and *' recommend to the several general courts that an- 



swcrablc preparations may be made, that cither upon his" (the 
Dutch Governor's) " refusal to answer, or his not givin;r meel 
satisfaction, the colonies may seasonably provide lor their safety 
and convenience." 

About this time a Dutch trader found it convenient to put him- 
self under the protection and jurisdiction of the English colonies ; 
and was in consequence considered by Governor Stuyvesant as a 
rebel. He had resided at Plymouth, but became a planter of 
New Haven, and to that harbour ordered a vessel and cargo, pur- 
chased in Holland, value i^2000. Stuyvesant, who asserted the 
Dutch claim to New Haven, sent and by force seized this vessel 
and cargo. Wcstcrhoicsc, the Dutch deserter, demanded of the 
New England commissioners letters of mark and reprisal upon his 
countrymen, but they rather thought best to address tt> the Dutch 
government a letter, complaining of the trade carried on with In- 
dians, in selling them powder and shot, in conjuix^tion with the 
treatment of Mr. Wcstcrhoxosc. TlH3y assert the English right 
to the New Haven lands and harbour, and to all the English plan- 
tations and their appurtenances, fron> Cape Cod or Point Judith, 
both on the " mayne," and the islands, as anciently granted by 
the kings of England to their subjects, and '* sence" duly pur- 
chased from the Indians. They assert the right and title of New 
Haven colony to certain lands within the Delaware, by the Dutch 
called the South River, and that it is Stuyvesant's fault that these 
differences are not adjusted as he did not meet them *' at Boston 
as was propounded and desired," they therefore are constrained to 
provide for their own safety, and forbid all trade with the Indians 
for guns, powder and shot, within the limits of any of the United 

Accordingly they by law prohibit all foreigners, especially 
French and Dutch, from trading with the Indians within the juris- 
diction of the United Colonies, as such trade ts to their prejudice, 
because it strengthens and animates " the Indians against them/' 
Governor Stuyvesant went to Hartford in September 
1650 1G50, and sent a letter to the commissioners met at that 
place, but the letter having been written in council at 
Manhattoes, was dated New Netherland } this the commissioners 
conceived a bar to further negotiation, as claiming that Hartford 
was a part of New Netherland, and they so informed the Dutch 
Governor. He explained and dated from Comiecticut, This 
being satisfactory, they proceeded. 

Stuyvesant asserted that the English intrusion upon Connec- 
ticut, or Fresh River, was an injury done to the Dutch; as the 
West India Company of Amsterdam had bought and ])aid for the 
lands in question to " the right pro})rietors, the nali\e Americans, 
before any other nation either bought or pretended right these- 


unto." To this, Edward Hopkins, President, answered that the 
English riglit to Connecticut river and said plantations, " hath 
been often asserted,'''' and is sufficiently known, as the commis- 
sioners conceive, to English, Dutch and Indians "in theseparts ;" 
and, they, the commissioners, have not heard any thing of weight 
sufficient to alter their claim. 

Other complaints are answered in much the same manner. 
Stuyvesant in reply, says he has proofs of the first Dutch pur- 
chase, and seems willing to waive claim to Hartford, but insists 
on the rio;ht of trade with the Indians. 

These letters to and fro resulted in appointing delegates, two 
on each part, who agreed upon and settled the boundaries of the 
two nations in their colonial possessions in America, by what is 
called the treaty of Hartford. 

Stuyvesant dates his letters from " the house the Hope, on 
Connecticut, commonly called Fresh River." And Hopkins, 
president of the congress of commissioners, dates from " Hartford 
on Connecticut." 

By the articles of agreement, dated the 19th day of September 
1650, the disputes respecting claims on South river, or Delaware 
bay and river, are left undetermined ; but the boundary line is 
fixed between the contending colonists on Long Island, " from the 
westermost part of the Oyster bay, soe and in a strait and direct 
line to the sea ;" and upon the main land, a line " to begin upon 
the west side of Greenwich bay, being about four miles from 
Stanford, and so to run a northerly line twenty miles up into the 
country, and after as it shall be agreed by the two governments of 
the Dutch and of New Haven, provided the said line come not with- 
in ten miles of Hudson's river." The Dutch were likewise to 
enjoy " all the lands in Hartford that they were actually possessed 
of; known or set out by sertayne marks and bounds."* 

The next year, according to their own statement, cer- 
1G51 tain inhabitants "of New Haven and Satockett" being 
" straitened in their respective plantations, and finding this 
part of the country full" — wishing to " enlarge the bounds of the 
United Colonies" and also " the hmits whereby the gospel might 
have been carried and spread amongst the Indians in that most 
southerly part of New England" hired a vessel, and " at least 50" 
of them sailed in the spring for the Delaware. On their way they 
touched at New Amsterdam, which place they say they " might 
have avoided." But it seems that they had some doubts respect- 
ing the legality or propriety of their voyage, notwithstanding their 
tender care for the souls of the Indians, for they had provided 
themselves with a letter from " their honoured Governour" to the 

Sec Hazard, vol. 2d. p 218. Iti which work all the documents arc to be found. 


** Dutch Governour," which letter they sent to Stuyvesant by two 
messengers. He immediately chipt them under guard, and sent 
for the master of the vessel tiiat was conveying them, to extend 
the limits of New England on soil under his government. The 
skipper and two more of the emigrants appearing, were confined 
in a private house, as were others that went to commune with 
them. The governor required "their commission," wliich he 
kept; and dismissing the poor people who were straightened in 
Connecticut, for that the country was too full in the year 1G51, he 
sent them back to New Haven with a promise that if he found any 
persons intruding upon South Rlva-, he would seize their goods 
and send the adventurers to Holland. All this is stated in a pe- 
tition from the would-be en7i«rants to the commissioners, mingled 
with the usual complaints that the Dutch sold powder and shot to 
the Indians, and pretended a right to a country "known to belong 
to Englishmen." 

The commissioners declared that the English had their right to 
the Delaware by patent; and the inhabitants of New Haven to 
certain tracts of land by purchase from the Indians. A letter was 
therefore written to " the Dutch Governour," protesting against 
Iiis injurious proceedings, and requiring satisfaction therefor. 
They wrote to the New Haven men, saying that they will not 
enter into immediate hostility with the Dutch, as they " would not 
seem too quick.^^ But if they should see fit again to attempt the 
settlement on Delaware, "and for that end, should, at their own 
charge, transport together, 150, or at least 100, able men, with a 
meet vessel and ammunition," by '^ authority of the Magistrates of 
New Haven;" then if the Dutch or Swedes oppose them, the 
commissioners will supply them with such number of soldiers as 
they, the said commissioners, " shall judge meet." 

Having tluis encouraged another invasion of South River, and 
that with arms, ammunition and soldiers, the commissioners wrote 
again to Stuyvesant, and acknowledged that he had " given notice 
to those of New Haven," that he would not permit settlements to 
be made on South River ; but at the sometime they protest against 
the Dutch claim, and complain of the governor's unneighbourly 

It must be remembered, that these encouragements given by 
the congress of commissioners to the people of New-Haven, to 
proceed to actual hostilities against the Dutch, and the promise 
of support by a body of troops, were made at a time when 
1652 the English parliament were triumphant over the Dutch 
republic ; and these hostile movements were followed up 
by the charge of a conspiracy entered into by Governor Stuyve- 
sant, to combine with the Indians in a plan for the destruction 
or massacre of all the English colonists. 

VOL. I. 13 


Early in the year 1G5U, that is, in March, when they 

165S meet in congress at Boston, and before the downfall of 

the rump parliament, the commissioners gravely took into 

their consideration the rumor of the Dutch "engaging several 

Indians to cut off the English." 

There can be no doubt but the Dutch West India Company had 
directed Stuyvesant to engage the Indians for the defence of the 
colony if attacked by the English ; but it is equally certain that 
the prudent veteran exerted himself strenuously to preserve peace 
with his powerful neighbours. 

On the 19th ofJNIay, 1663, while yet the power of England 
was threatening destruction to the Hollanders, the commissioners 
of the united English colonies again met at Boston. They sent 
messengers, furnished with a number of queries to Ninnigrcet, a 
sachem of the Narragansetts, to demand from him whether the 
Dutch governor had engaged him, or any other of the Narragan- 
sett Indians, to join with him in fighting the English, or had en- 
deavoured to form such a league or conspiracy, or had given 
guns, powder, and lead to the Indians for that purpose ? The 
commissioners further require of the sachem to come to Boston to 
answer (hem. The same queries are put to other sachems. They 
all deny any such agreement or proposition for engaging them in 
war with the English. These sachems do not choose to leave 
home to be examined by the commissioners, but they send four 
men, Avhom we may suppose are of their council. In answer to 
the question why N/nnigrcet went to Manhattoes the last winter, 
these men answer, " to be cured of disease." He having heard 
of a French physician who could heal him : that he gave wampum 
to the doctor, and some to the governor, who in return gave him 
clothing, " but not one gun." But Ninnigreet bought two guns 
of the Indians at Manhattoes. 

This'testimony does not appear to be very conclusive ; but then 
an Indian of "Road Island" gives information that another Indian 
heard an Englishman say that the Dutchmen " would cut off the 
English on Long Island," and that he heard Ninnigreet say that 
he heard that ships had come from Holland to cut off the English. 
And Captain Simkins says that the Rhode Island man said that 
the Dutch had offered him one hundred pounds a year to serve 
them. There is other testimony of equal importance. A squaw 
had sent word to the people of Weathersfield " to take care of 
themselves, for the Dutch and Indians had confederated to cut 
them off." 

Upon this the commissioners drew up a declaration which may 
be seen in full in Hazard's state papers, detailing former griev- 
ances, and accusing Stuyvesant of this conspiracy to destroy 
Ehem all. 


They complain that the people of New Haven, havuig built a 
village, called Stanford, Kicft, in 1G42, did challenge the place 
and set up the prince of Orange's arms there, which the English 
tore down. Then they complain of Kieft's protest respecting 
Delaware bay, and of a variety of the acis and intentions of the 
late governor. 

They then speak of the disputes concerning Fresh, or Connec- 
ticut river, and in the eleventh article they arrive at the atrocities 
of Stuyvesant, He had in 1647, still claimed and excercised his 
authority within the English limits, and above all, had furnished 
the Indians with guns, powder, and lead. They affirm the right 
to settle on the Delaware, and complain of Stuyvesant's prohibi- 
tions in 1651. Then comes the charge of treachery and cruelty , 
and they are presented in colours of blood against the Dutch gov- 
ernor. "By many concurrent and strong testimonies," the Dutch 
are charged with warring upon the English hi Europe ; and Stuy- 
vesant is accused, upon this undoubted testimony, with having 
engaged the Indians to massacre the English on Long Island and 
New England. Nay, he was going to poison and bewitch them. 
Certain Indians said that Nhmigrcct had employed an " artist" to 
exercise his art upon the English, and (as is implied,) render them 
powerless by drugs and witchery : but Uncus, the friend of the 
English, discovered the conjurer, and having seized, slew him. 
Another proof of Stuyvesant's guilt is, that " the Indians praise 
the Dutch and contemn the English:" and that Ninnigreet hath 
brought " wild fier from the Dutch," and had ordered his people 
to procure ammunition and promised them plenty of rum ; further, 
that all the Indians grow insolent to the English — that the Dutch 
have threatened the English with " East India breakfast" — and 
then the Amhoyna affair is lugged in. The commissioners go on 
to say, that an Indian Sagamore on Long Island says so and so ; 
and so and so an Indian squaw in Connecticut ; that the Indians of 
Long Island charge the iilot upon the Dutch fiscal, and Caiitain 
Underhill told the fiscal of it, and was therefor "fetched from 
Flushing by the fiscal with a guard of soldiers, and confined to 
the Maiihattoes, till the relation he made at Hempstead was af- 
firmed to his face ; then wdthout tryal or hearing, he was dismissed 
and all his charges borne." Other Indian testimonies, and parti- 
cularly that of nine sagamores living near Manhattoes, who had 
affirmed that the Dutch had promised them guns, ammunition, and 
clothing, if they would cut ofl:'the English. The declaration con- 
cludes in terms disclaiming trust in the sincerity of the Dutch 
governor's professions, and still more those of his fiscal ; and 
the belief of the commissioners that Stuyvesant would only make 
a treaty with them until he has an opportunity to do them mis- 
chief, " as the state of affairs either in Europe, betwixt the com- 



monwealth of England and the Nedierlands, or heer, betwixt the 
Colonies and the Dutch," may guide him. 

This declaration, however, " exercised^'' some of the commis" 
sioners, and the Massachusetts delegates advised that the Dutch 
governor may have an opportunity given him to answer for him- 
self " before, what was considered by them as, a Declaration 
of War:' 

Governor Stuyvesant wrote to the governors of Massachusetts 
and New Haven in April, denying " the plot charged," and offer- 
ing " to come or send to clear himself," and desiring " some may 
be deputed tliidier to consider and examine what may be charged, 
and his answers." Accordingly Mr, Francis Newman, a magis- 
trate of New Haven, ^nd Lt. Davis, of Boston, were sent, with a 
commission and instructions, in form of a writing addressed " to 
the right worshipful Peter Stuyvesant, Governor and General of 
the Dutch Province ; and to Monsieur JNIontaigne, and to Captain 
Newton, two of the Counsell for N. Netherland." 

In this writing, the commissioners state that the United En- 
glish Colonies have often required reparation for former hostile 
affronts, but in vain. However, " the evidence" of the late 
treacherous conspiracy " against them, their wives, and chil- 
dren, at a time when the governor was proposing a treaty of 
peace, puts iipon them ^^ other remedies y They then, after enumer- 
ating grievances, go on to mention their deputies, who are to re- 
ceive and return the governor's answer, They reproach him 
with making use of " heathen testimony," on another occasion, 
and say the heathen testimony they act upon, is as good as that he 
had used. They do not forget Amhoyna. They refer him to 
their deputies, and say they " shall expect speedy and just satis- 
faction" for all injuries past, and security for the future. They 
threaten measures for their safety, and will act according to the 
report of three deputies. 

To Newman, Leverett, and Davis they gave instructions to re- 
port all these grievances ; and instruct them that, if Stuyvesant 
refuses to go iyij'erson to Stanford, or send "indifferent" persons 
" to receive evidence" there, or in some other convenient place, 
"you are to demand of him satisfaction and security :" which, if 
refused, the deputies are to report. 

Further instructions are given to the deputies at great length, 
respecting witnesses to be ready to convict the Dutch, and the 
testimony of the Indians with their wa?-^:* affixed. And two letters 
from Captain Underbill, " which," they add, •' you conceal from 
all such as will take advantage against him." The commissioners 
from Plymouth signed the letter to the Dutch governor, but enter 
a protest against some of the grievances therein enumerated. 
The deputies being sent forth, the commissioners determined 


the number of soldiers to be levied, viz: Massachusetts 333, 
Plymouth 60, Connecticut 65, New Haven 42. And appointed 
officers to command. One of the deputies (Leverett) is recom- 
mended, " as he will have opportunity," to spy out the Dutch 
force. Arms apportioned and all preparations for war made. 
When arrived at New Amsterdam, the three deputies address the 
governor and council from " the place of our residence, the Basses 
house in Manhattoes ihis 13th of May, 1653." They say, having 
desired the governor to pitch upon a place within the colonies of 
New England, and speedy time for " producing evidence" to 
clear himself and his fiscal from the charges made ; which, he 
having declined, they ask that the place shall be Flushing or 
Hempstead, provided they may have security under his hand 
for liberty to call " such to testify in the case, as we shall see 
meet. And the English Indians who shall testify, shall remain 

The governor consents to these demands, provided the 
testimony is taken in presence of three commissioners of New 
Netherland, men understanding Dutch, English, and the Indian 
languages. And provided the witnesses be cross-questioned 
in the presence of these Dutch commissioners, according to 
the law of New Netherland. This is signed by Stuyvcsant, 
Bryant Newton, Rouvigeer, Van Ransaellaer, (John I3aptist,) 
Van Carloe, Beeckman, Wolferslen, A lard Anthony, Rulker 
Jacob, and Peter Stuyvcsant. Dated 23d May, 1653. 

The New England deputies object to an examination before, 
or in presence of the commissioners appointed by Stuyvesant. 
They appear to think they were to try him and his Fiscal, they 
sitting as judges. They object to the cross-examination of wit- 
nesses according to the law of New Netherland ; and next day. 
May 24th, they write to Stuyvesant demanding "full satisfaction" 
for all former and present injuries, and " security for the time to 
come," and that he cause to be delivered to them " the body of 
Thomas Newton, a capital offender, in one of the colonies of New 
England," and lasflij, they demand a speedy answer. 

To this, Carrill Vanbrige, secretary, the same day, answers 
that the governor and council, before replying, require a true copy 
of the conunission of the deputies, and their instructions ; that 
the Dutch government may know, as the secretary says, "whether 
or noe your honours have anything more to propound." The 
deputies send a copy of their commission, but refuse their instruc- 
tions. The governor, the same day, (24th May) answers, that he 
and his council hoped that the assurance they had given of inno- 
cence from any such treacherous design as was imputed to them, 
would have been satisfactory to the commissioners and " all chris- 
tian yeopUy That they still desire to give full evidence of their 


innocence, respecting *^ injuries imputed,^^ they are ready to sub- 
mit to the judgment of "indifferent persons." The governor 
professes not to know " what form of security" is wished. He 
has employed the captain heutenant, to give a warrant to the 
magistrates under whom Newton lives, " to lay hold of him :" 
and he concludes with a wish to perform all matters in " a neigh- 
bourly and loving manner." 

Stuyvesant further " propounds" articles of agreement for an 
alliance, without taking note of the differences between England 
and Holland in Europe. For a continuance of trade as before. 
For mutualjustice in all contracts between individuals. And to 
prevent all false reports from Indians, he proposes an alliance de- 
fensive and offensive against all " Indians and natives." Finally, 
if the deputies have not sufficient powers, he proposes to send 
persons empowered unto their "principals." 

To this the deputies answer on the 25th, that the governor's 
last cuts off all further negotiations ; and they make declaration of 
hostile measure* if "any injury is ofiered to the English in these 
parts," i. e. within the jurisdiction of New Netherland, " whether 
by yourselves or by the IndiansJ^^ And Stuyvesant returning an 
answer the same day, they depart and proceed to set forth the tes- 
timony oi Rontiisokc, and other Indians, of English labourers, of 
Dutchmen living in the English colonies, taken at different times; 
some the most improbable hearsay ; and the amount of the yro- 
bable is, that Stuyvesant (as directed by his employers, and as 
common prudence dictated, the Dutch and English at home being 
at war, and the threats of the United English Colonies increasing,) 
had visited some of the Indian tribes west of the Hudson, near 
Manliattoes, and others near Orange, (Albany) and cultivated a 
friendly intercourse with them. 

One of the witnesses, a Stanford man, upon oath states, that 
being " att the Manhattoes" in the month of April 1653, Captain 
UndcrJdIl being with him, and " George Woolsey and his wife," 
and an Englishman belonging, or residing in Manhattoes, said that 
the governor and his fiscal being in presence of some Indians, 
asked them whether they would affirm that the governor and his 
fiscal did set them on "to burn the houses, poison the waters, and 
kill the ]<^nglish." The Indians presently affirmed to their 
1653 faces that " so they did." This English narrator said be- 
fore Coptain Underhill, that the governor and fiscal 
thought he and his companions could not understand the Indian 
language, " but they were mistaken, for he could understand as 
well as most Dutchmen.'''' 

That many of the English on Long Island had this notion of a 
plan to destroy them, is certain. Captain John Underhill resided 
at Flushing, and great consternation was expressed by several 

UNDEIlHILt. 103 

communities. The deputies from New England took depositions 
as to their fears. The people of Hempistead sent by Richard 
Alexander Knowles, and those of Middlebrough by Robert Coo 
and Richard Jessop, to know from the commissioners of the Uni- 
ted Colonies, if England demanded their subjection, how they 
could act by Dutch laws; and what they were to do " having so 
many enemies" around them ? They ask the favour of twenty or ten 
men and a commander to train them, and ask if the commissioners 
can afford them " powder and shott ?" They profess their de- 
sire " to cleave to New England," and desire " corne" and pro- 
vision, they giving " security that it shall be for the English only." 

Underbill wrote to the commissioners offering service to them 
and the parliament, (May 23d.) " I am like Jephthah, forced to 
lay my life in my hands to save English blood from destruction ;" 
he prays God to move their hearts to t/;?(//a/^e " the common 
cause of England against the Dutch." He says he has requested 
assistance from "Road Island," and he "shall be tender in shed- 
ding blood," but requests them to "make haste." 

In the mean time the general court of Massachusetts appointed 
a committee to consult with the commissioners respecting the dif- 
ference with the Dutch : to which die commissioners as-ree thoi/(rh 
they think it iinnccessary . A consultation is held, and notwith- 
standing Mr. Eaton states the " multiplied injuries and treacherous 
falsehoods of the Dutch in these parts," and their " bloody ]i)lot," 
with the " insolencies, treacheries, and hitter etunity^^ of the Dutch 
in Europe ; and the fears of the English who have placed them- 
selves within the Dutch jurisdiction in New Netherland ; partic- 
ularly Caytain UnderhilVs danger from his national love and his 
application to Rhode Island. And likewise, notwithstanding the 
statement to the same effect made by General Dennison, the Mas- 
sachusetts men say, that they " do not understand" that the United 
Colonies " are called to make a present war with the Dutch." 
Happily Massachusetts was of too much importance to be dis- 

The English colonists in the immediate vicinity of New Nether- 
land were most adverse to the Dutch. The treaty of Hartford 
had run a line of division from the west of Oysterbay to the sea, 
on Long Island, and at Greenwich on the main, north from the 
mouth of Byram River, to within ten miles of the Hudson. These 
borderers, and the English who had settled in the towns on Long 
Island under the Dutch jurisdiction, were averse to the laws of 
Holland, and were inflamed by the prevalence of little-understood 
republican principle in the commonwealth of England. Massa- 
chusetts was not so irritable or rash. In the mean time, Stuy- 
vesant sent Mr. Augustus Heerman to Boston, with a letter to the 
commissioners, in which he complains gently of the haste of the 


deputies, " who would not attend one half day" to lake his an- 
swer, and then he proceeds in detail to consider all the charges 
made against him by the deputies. Many of them he considers 
as put at rest by the treaty of Hartford. The charge of a bloody 
plot, he terms absurd ; he points out the impropriety of mention- 
ing the aifair oi Amboijna ; says if the deputies had taken proper 
measures, they might have been convinced of the innocence of the 
Dutch government in respect to conspiring with the Indians. He 
sends an abstract of the New England intrusions from 1633, in 
temperate language, and apologises, saying he thought all this 
settled at Hartford, and would have communicated witl) the depu- 
ties, but for their hasty departure " after supper, about 9 o'clock 
in the evening, without waiting for his letter to their principals." 

The commissioners of the United Colonies are called together 
at Boston, on the 3d June, 1653, and acknowledge the receipt of 
the above. They say Stuyvesant agreed that Greenwich should 
come in New Haven jurisdiction : and his denial of the " barba- 
rous plot" will weigh little against the evidences, and they must still 
" seek due satisfaction." 

A question is " propounded" to the general court of Massachu- 
setts, whether the commissioners have power to engage the United 
Colonies in a war ^ And the general court determine in the neg- 
ative. The other three colonies make objections ; but Massachu- 
setts persists in refusing such power to the commissioners, and 
the dispute is carried on unto September of 1653. On the 12th 
September, 1653, the commissioners send messengers to Nin?ii- 
grcet, to inquire into information received, that he and his Narra- 
gansetts had invaded the Long Island Indians, killed a sachem 
and several others, carrying away some as captives. They re- 
quire Pcssacus, Mixum, and Nhmigrcet, or two of them, to repair 
to Boston to answer the charge* 

About this time the Rhode Island men seized a vessel belonging 
to Plymouth atOysterbay; apparently on pretence of her carrying 
provision to the Dutch. Further, under commission from Rhode 
Island, one Baxter makes prize of a Dutch vessel, and the Neth- 
erlanders fit out two vessels, which blockade Baxter in Fair- 
field harbour. In consequence, the commissioners direct hostile 
measures against these vessels from the Manhattoes, in considera- 
tion of the continued open war between the commonwealth of 
England and the Netherlands. 

The messengers sent to the Narragansetts, requiring the sa- 
chems to come to Boston, and forthwith to set free the captive In- 
dians of Long Island, are received with threats. " Thomas Staun- 
ton, with his rapier in the scabbard, struck at the Wolfs-tail on 
the head of a Pequot Indian," and a Narragansett threatened the 
messenger by " cocking his gun j" while another Indian " drew 


his bow with an arrow in it." But tlie messengers persevere and 
deliver the commands of the commissioners to ISJinnigrcet, who 
liad repHed to a former message, "What have the English to do 
to demand my prisoners ?" So now he said, " Why do the En- 
ghsh sh'ght me, and respect the Long Islanders and the Mohi- 
cans? Why do they inquire the ground of my war on the Long 
Islanders? have they not heard that the Long Islanders mur- 
thered one of my men?" And he refused to come to "Me 
bay.''^ Mixam excused himself from the journey. 

It appears from the English account of this feud, that the Long 
Island Sachems sent a Narragansett as prisoner to Haitford, charg- 
ing him with attempting to shoot "the Sag<nnore of Sfdnnicocky 
Whereupon he was tried, and ])ut to death at Hartford by the 
Long Island Indians, who burnt his body. For this, Ni?m9greet 
had crossed to the Island and attacked them, as above ; and in 
revenge, burnt one of his captives. The commissioners " con- 
ceive themselves called by God to make present war against Ni?i- 
nigrcet the Niantncke Sachem ;" and the United Colonies levy 
250 men for the purpose. Here again Massachusetts interfered, 
and declared that they did not see any " obligation of the English 
towards the Long Islanders," or any reason for making war upon 
^inni greet. 

But September 24th, upon a petition from New Haven, the 
commissioners conclude that they have just cause of war against 
the Dutch ; and declare that Massachusetts has broken the league. 
They further press the war against Ninnigreet. However, the 
war against the Manhattoes is deferred, notwithstanding "sharp" 
and tedious "disputes" among the colonies ; and the wisdom of 
Massachusetts prevails. 

The Commonwealths of England and Holland had 
1654 been engaged in a naval war from 1652, in which some- 
times Tromp and De Ruyter, and sometimes Blake and 
Moid<, were victorious ; but uniformly, humanity and the contend- 
ing nations suffered. "The two republics," says Hume, "were 
not inflamed by any national antipathy, and their interests very 
little interfered," yet more furious or bloody combats have sel- 
dom been recorded than those of the 29th of November, when 
Tromp defeated Blake, although inferiour in force ; or of the 
13th of February, 1653, when Blake, Dean and Monk van- 
quished Tromp and De Ruyter ; 2000 men on each part were 
slain, besides, of course, a much greater number maimed or 
groaning under grievous wounds. "Never on any occasion," 
says the historian, "did the power and vigour of the Dutch re- 
public appear in a more conspicuous light." But their commerce 
was cut up, their fisheries suspended, and all the evils suffered of 
VOL. I. 14 


a fierce contention with a neighbouring enemy more powerful than 

Cromwell was declared protector while this war between Hol- 
land and England raged ; and although he entertained the notion 
of forming a coalition with the States, still the war continued, and 
also negotiations for a peace were carried on. The protector de- 
signed, before a treaty was concluded, to wrest New Amsterdam 
and all the territories the Dutch held in America from the States. 
He accordingly made requisitions on New England for aid in 
1654. I find in Hazard's state papers, a letter from Thomas 
Welles, a magistrate of Connecticut, (and afterwards governour,) 
dated Hartford, June 10th, 1654, to Major Robert Sedgeworth 
and Captain John Leverett, saying, the colony agreed to furnish 
aid, and wishing to know the number of men ^vanted. He says, 
" it is thought by some who know the strength of the Dutch, that 
this service will require at least 500 land-soldiers. Captain Un- 
derbill and John Young, who are gone towards the bay, can best 
inform you of the state of things at the Manhattoes." 

But Cromwell concluded a treaty of peace with the Dutch, al- 
though Holland had refused his offer of an union even more inti- 
mate ; for he wished the two republics to become one. This 
treaty of course put an end to the projected conquest of New 
Netherland, and Petrus Stu'yvesant was for the present unmo- 
lested, although Captain John Underbill appears to have been 
anxious to put on his helmet, corslet, buff jerkin, bandelier and 
sword, whenever fighting was the fashion. 

Although the New Netherlands had been, long before Euro- 
pean discovery, more populous than many parts of America, 
the wild animals in 164S were yet in abundance, and afforded 
food for the inhabitants, and skins for trade with the Dutch, 
as well as objects for their observation and curiosity. Their 
own country, rescued from the sea, was destitute of the bear, 
the panther, wolf, fox, racoon, beaver and deer. Here 
they saw the last mentioned beautiful animal in great numbers, 
though hunted by the Indians incessantly, and in the winter de- 
stroyed by the wolves, scarcely less numerous than the timid 
creatures they pursued. The wolves hunted in troops, and with 
the sagacity of other chasscnrs, encircled a given space, and by 
closing in, made prey of the deer within the ground they had en- 
compassed, unless a lake or river gave him a chance of escape. 
If in the pursuit, the flying animal arrived at a piece of water or 
a stream not fordable, the wolf was obliged to stop and see his 
intended prey escape. The Indian, in his canoe, chased the deer 
over river or lake, and if the poor creature is about to gain the 
shore and baffle the pursuer, he shouts and yells as in the day of 
battle, and the echo from the woods, bewilders the animal to his 


destruction ; he turns from the shore which would have been an 
asyknn, and the hunter pierces him with arrows. 

At the commencement of the 6th chapter, we have seen the 
progress made by the Swedes upon the Delaware. To this in- 
trusion Kieft could only oppose his protest : but Governour Stuy- 
vesant had more power. In 1651 the Dutch built Fort Cassimer, 
on the site of the present town of Newcastle, within a short dis- 
tance of the Swedish Fort at the mouth of Brandy wine river ; 
but the Swedes attacked and overpowered the garrison, and Stuy- 
vesant was ordered by the West India Company to reduce the 
Swedes in the South river under the Dutch jurisdiction. 

Having made his preparations, the gallant soldier sailed 
16-55 from New Amsterdam with an armament, and at the head 
of 600 men, reduced all the Swedish fortresses, the in- 
habitants generally remaining as subjects of the Netherlands, the 
most honourable terms having been granted to Governour Ri- 

On the 9th of September, Stuyvesant's armament appeared be- 
fore Fort Cassimer, where he landed his troops, and summoned 
the garrison, which surrendered on the 16th. The Governour of 
New Netherland immediately proceeded to Fort Christina, which 
Risingh surrendered on the 25th, and was conveyed to Europe ; 
and such of the inhabitants of the Swedish Colony as did not 
choose to swear fidelity to the States General, removed to Mary- 
land and Delaware. Lieutenant Governours ruled this country 
for the Dutch, the first, Johan Paul Jaquet, who was succeeded 
by Alrucks Hinnojossa and William Beekman, who in 165S pur- 
chased Cape Henlopen from the natives, and fortified it. 

Governour Siuyvesant had a delicate game to play with Lord 
Baltimore's Commission, and with Sir William Berkely, Gover- 
nour of Virginia. Beekman was ordered to surrender to Lord 
Baltimore's grant, but he required time to consult his principal, 
and evaded the demand. In 1660, Governor Stuyvesant 

1660 endeavoured to enter into a treaty with Virginia, and to 
procure an acknowledgment of the Dutch boundaries. 

Berkely treated the advances civilly, but avoided the question of 
boundaries, and sent Sir Henry Moody to New Amsterdam to 
further the commercial intercourse. 

Governour Stuyvesant wrote to the Diltch West India 

1661 Company in 1661, that he had not yet begun the fort at 
Oyster bay, because the English of New England lay the 

boundary line agreed upon at Hartford in 1650, one mile and a 
half more to the westward than he thinks just ; and because the 
West India Company seem not content with that treaty. He 
mentions a report that Lord Stirling was soliciting the King of 
England to confirm the grant made to his father, of the whole of 

108 ESOPUS. 

Long Island. Further, that the grant made by England to Lord 
Baltimore, of the land on South river, (Delaware) had been con- 
firmed to him, and that England intends an invasion of New 

Esopus was one of the earliest settlements made by agricultur- 
ists in the New Netherlands. The plantations were laid waste 
by the Lidians. Some of the inhabitants were killed, and others 
led away captive. The Iroquois, particularly the nearest Mo- 
hawks, came to the aid of the Dutch, declaring themselves 
brethren. t 

Stuyvesant was pressed on all sides, and his employers at home 
afforded him no help. Although the people of the city of New 
Amsterdam had in part a popular government, popidar freedom 
did not exist in the province. The people were poor and spirit- 
less. The New England notions of popular rights had spread 
as the English increased on Long Island and in the city. The 
Director-general obeyed the commands of his superiors in Hol- 
land, and ruled with the best intent ; but it was apparent that his 
will was law, and men had begun to think that they ought to have 
a share in governing themselves. Stuyvesant was willing as far 
as his instructions would admit, and a Convention was called by 
him about this time, and another in 1664; but before this, ru- 
mours of an invasion from England and a change of government 

* See Hazard. 

t In the Library of the New York Historical Society, among the Miller papers, I 
find a newspaper in Dutch, dated September 17th, 1661. Judge Egbert Benson 
translates one paragraph thus : "On Monday last, arrived in the Texel the ship 
'''Niiarint,''' from New Netherland, laden with Tobacco and some Peltry. The ship 
Frou and the ship Klock lav ready to sail, and may be daily expected, having been 
seen, as is supposed, near Fairhill. In the Frou came passengers Mr. Winthrop, 
Governour of Connecticut, and the Rev. Mr. Stone, as aoents to his Majesty of En- 
gland. The trade in Tobacco has been tolerable ; but that in Pellrv indifferent. In 
every other resjiect, matters are in good condition. In the Sopus the cultivation of 
the land proceeds briskly, as it docs also on the South River. In the beginning of 
the summer there was a great storm in New England, in which a number of siiips 
were lost." 

This newspaper is called " Haerlemse Saterdacghsc Courant." The Rev. Doctor 
Miller writes, judge Benson " told me that from all he could gather, that there were 
many colonists who settled before in New Amsterdam and Fort Aurania, (Albany) 
yet the first husbandmen who came over on their own account, and at their own risk, 
were some who went and settled at Esopus. The other colonists at New York and 
Albany were either soldiers, or some who came out with Renseller, or subordinate 
to some other great man." "Judge Benson is persuaded that no plan of permanent 
colonization was distinctly undertaken in New Netherland until about 16y0 and 1633, 
when Mr. Van Renseller, the original patroon, came over with Van Cortlandt, (the 
latter had been bred a carpenter,) and brought a number of low people, indented 
servants and others, for the purpose of planting colonics, as the Dutch called them. 
The first set of free, independent /armcr* (the Judge thinks,) were those who came 
over after Van Renseller some years, and settled at Esopus. There they were 
largely in the way of raising tobacco." 

As early as 1616, settlers fixed themselves in''Esopus, and a minister was estab- 
lished as early as IG62. See Thomas F. Gordon. 

ESOPUS. 109 

had reached the people, for they saw the necessity of the pro- 
vince submitting, and most of them wished it. Some for the sake 
of change, and many hoping to enjoy the free government of New 

The Governour, ever faithful to the West India Company and 
to the States General, represented the truth to them — he told 
them that the English on Long Island were disaffected to them ; 
that Connecticut had purchased as i'ar as Hudson's River of the 
Indians — that the Dutch were not well affected to the present 
mode of government, and that his weakness was too apparent.* 

In this year the Indians near Esopus, who had for some 
1GG3 time evinced discontent wdth their Dutch neighbours, seem 
to have united in a plan for exterminating the w'hites. 
In the month of June, while tiiey amused the people with a ne- 
gociation for better neighbourhood, they seized the opportunity, 
while the men of the village were at their agricultural employ- 
ment abroad, to enter, as 'tis said, under pretence of trade, and 
in a very short time killed or carried off" captive sixty -five per- 
sons. The Netherlanders, who from anterior hostilities had been 
induced to erect a fort, rallied and seized their arms : but the 
natives, as if intending further aggression, likewise erected a pal- 
isaded fortification, and were probably increasing in force, when 
Martin Crygicr arriving from New Amsterdam with troops sent 
by Governour Stuyvesant, the red men fled to the mountains. 

During part of this summer the Director-general repaired to 
Esopus, and by sending out parties, not only kept the superior 
numbers of the enemy in check, but made inroads among the hill 
fastnesses, destroyed the Indian villages and forts, laid waste and 
burnt their fields and magazines of maize, killed many of their 
warriors, released the Dutch captives to the number of twenty- 
two, and captured eleven of the enemy. These vigorous opera- 
tions were followed by a truce in December, and a treaty of peace 
the INIay following. 

During this pressure upon the people of Esopus, such was the 
discontent of the inhabitants of Long Island, that they refused to 
embody the militia for defence of the colony on the Hudson, or 
even to send troops to New Amsterdam. 

The powers with which the West India Company and the 
States General had invested their Director-general, had by this 
time caused great discontent among the people of the province, 
and particularly upon Long Island. He had a sovereign voice 
in the appointment of officers and framing laws. Churches and 
their ministers were at his disposal. Indian titles were extinguished 

See Appendix I. 


only by liIs permission. Grants for lands, and taxes for the sup- 
port ol government, depended on him. He was only responsible 
to superiors beyond sea. 

The English settlers under the Dutch jurisdiction unwillingly 
submitted. They applied for a share in the government. They 
claimed the privilege as of right. They embodied their grievances 
in memorials to Governour tStuyvesant, and to the Slates General. 
The governour denounced the meetings on Long Island as illegal. 
He prohibited similar meetings. He obeyed his instructions, and 
might truly say that the settlements had been made knowingly as 
to the nature of the Dutch government. But the desire for self- 
government could not be satisfied by appeals to circumstances 
under which the settlements were formed. The English and New 
England notions prevailed. Discontent increased. The laws 
were contemned, as not emanating from the people. The En- 
glish towns of Long Island sent deputies to a convention in No- 
vember, 1663, and appeared so formidable that the governour did 
not venture to disperse them. 

Religious complaints were added to civil. The Directors- 
general were required by their superiors to maintain "the Re- 
formed religion, in conformity to the word and the decrees of 
the Synod of Dortrecht, and not to tolerate in publick any other 
sect." Here was no room for the admittance of any discovered 
truth ; and the governour had bound hiniself, as usual, to exclude 
any light not discovered by his employers. Laws to this import 
were promulgated, and fines decreed for preaching or attending 
on any doctrines but those of the Synod. Lutherans were im- 
prisoned, and a clergyman of that church banished. The Dutch 
West India Company thought they had gone too far, and gra- 
ciously permitted them to pray after their own manner, m their oiai 
houses. But the Quakers, (who were very far, at that time, from 
being the quiet, good citizens they now are,) who thought they 
had got all the light in their own hands, and were determined to 
introduce it every where, in despite of synods, priests, or gover- 
nours, caused Stuyvesant no little trouble, as they had done the 
keepers of men's consciences elsewhere, and elicited acts from 
the Dutch Director, as well as from the rulers of New and Old 
England, which can hardly be believed in the year 1839. Rich- 
ard Smith was imprisoned (1656) in Massachusetts, but let out of 
prison "to return to his family at Southampton," in the hope that 
the magistrates will be careful to keep out Sathan and his instru- 
ments. In 1607 the Commisssoners of New England ordered that 
all quakers, ranters and such hereticks, be removed from the dis- 
tricts they infest. In 1658 the same commissioners recommend a 
law by which the accursed and pernicious sect of Quakers be ban- 
ished upon pain of death if they return. In 1660, Plymouth enacted 

QUAKERS. 1 1 1 

laws against bringing Quakers into the colony, and those who shall 
entertain them. Massachusetts had done the same, under penalty 
of fine and imprisonment to the introducer or entertainer, and the 
punishment for the first "ofi'ence, inflicted upon every male 
Quaker, of having one of his ears cut offj and being kept att 
work in the house of correction till he can be sent away at his 
own charge ;" and for the second offence the other ear is to be 
cut off, and the correction again applied. "Every woman Qua- 
ker" is doomed to be whipt, and the same mode of mending 
used. And lor the third offence, both males and females are to 
have " their tongues bored through with a hot Iron," and to be 
confined " close at worke" till sent away at their own charge. 
At Plymouth, Humphrey Norton and John Rouse, Quakers, 
were whipt and imprisoned because they refused to pay for it. 
In Massachusetts, persons siding with the Quakers, and absent- 
ing themselves from " the publick ordinances," having been fined, 
asserting that they have no estates, and resolving not to work, the 
Court impowers the treasurers of counties, "to sell the said 
persons to any of the English nation at Virginia and Barbadoes." 
And in October, 1659, the question being put in Court, "whether 
Wm. Robinson, Marmaduke Stevenson, and Mary Dyer, the 
persons now in prison, who have been convicted for Quakers, 
and banished this jurisdiction on pain of Death, should be put to 
Death according as the law provides in that case ? The Court 
resolved this question in the affirmative." Accordingly the gov- 
ernour pronounced sentence upon the prisoners, they being before 
him in " open Court," and an order and warrants were issued for 
their execution. On the petition of Wm. Dyer, the son of Mary, 
he or some other person is jTcrmitted within forty-eight hours to 
convey her out of the jurisdiction ; but in the meantime, " she shall 
be carried to the place of execution, and there to stand upon the 
gallows with a rope about her neck till the rest be executed ; and 
then to return to the prison and remain as aforesaid."* 

During this period, when the New England Colonies banished, 
whipt, cut off the ears, bored the tongues, sold for slaves, and 
put to death, the Quakers, they had multiplied on Long Island, 
the governour's efforts and his oath of office notwithstanding. Far 
be it from me to justify oppression by showing greater oppression 
elsewhere. But the opinions and maxims of days of connpara- 
tive darkness must plead for the individual who is influenced by 
them, however much we at the present day pity or detest such 

Stuyvesant issued a mandate forbidding all persons from at- 

See Hazard or the Records. 


tending or holding conventicles in any building or in any field or 
wood, under penalty of fifty guilders fine, to be doubled and 
quadrupled, and after a third offence subjecting the offender to 
arbitrary punishment. Many persons suffered fines, imprison- 
ment and banishment. At Flushing the magistrates justified the 
Quakers. In Jamaica, where many of the sect dwelt, their meet- 
ings were dispersed by tiie siieriff. John Bowne was expatriated, 
and sent to Holland, from whence he returned after having suf- 
fered much ; and the governour's superiors thought fit to repri- 
mand him. All these discontents prepared the way for the events 
of 1G64. 

On the 7th July, 1659, the Commissioners of the 
1659 United New England Colonies sent a letter to Governor 
to Stuyvesant, from Hartford, saying they presume he has 
1663 heard from the Dut^h of "Fort of Orania," that some 
New England people had been lately seeking "some meet 
place for plantation within the bounds" of Massachusetts Colo- 
ny, " which is from the latitude of 42 degrees and 30 min- 
utes ; and so northerly extends itself from E. to W. in longitude 
through the maine land of America from the Atlantic ocion to the 
S. or W. Sea." Massachusetts had granted liberty to "erect a 
plantation in those parts," and intended "to effect the same." The 
Commissioners therefore desire liberty for these planters (as they 
would not entrench on Dutch rights) to pass up Hudson river, by 
the Dutch forts and towns, paying moderate duties. This the 
commissioners think a reasonable request, and that a denial would 
interrupt neighbourly and amicable correspondence. They say 
they conceive that the agreement made at Hartford, "that the 
English should not come within 10 miles of Hudson's River, 
does prejudice the right of Massachusetts in the upland country, 
nor give any right to the Dutch there;" that treaty only, they 
say, intending the settlement between New Netherland and Con- 
necticut, and not concerning Massachusetts in any way. 

I find no immediate answer to these pretensions. But Ban- 
croft says in his history, that Connecticut, in 1662, "regardless 
of the provisional treaty, claimed West Chester, and was ad- 
vancing towards the Hudson ; and that Stuyvesant repaired to 
Boston and entered his complaints." And I find* that on July 
9th he complained before the commissioners, that the English 
Colonies did not observe the treaty made at Hartford in 
1650, and requested to knpw if the commissioners accounted the 
said treaty as remaining in force. .John Winthrop and John En- 
dicott, Commissioners for Connecticut, craved the United Com- 

* Hazard, vol. 2, p. 479. 


missioners not to decide immediately ; but the Commissioners, 
"saving the riglit of Connecticut by their charter," do account 
the agreement of 17G0 to be binding. Still Connecticut main- 
tained its claim ; and so did Massachusetts. " Where then is 
New Netherlands" say the Dutch. "We do not know," reply 
the English.* 

In 1657, Oysterbay and Huntington were, by permission of 
the commissioners, received into the jurisdiction of New Haven. 
In IGGO, liberty was granted by the Commissioners of the United 
Colonies for the jurisdiction of Connecticut to take Huntington 
and Sautauket into her government. 

The Commissioners of the United New England Colonies 
having advised that the claims of the Dutch and of Connecticut 
should be deferred until 1GG4, and then brought before the 
Court or Congress for judgment, Governour Stuyvcsant replied 
on the 21st of September, 1G63, that he wished a friendly and 
neighbourly settlement of differences concerning " East Dorfe, 
by the English called West Chester,''^ and all other disputes, "that 
the parties may live in peace in the Wilderness where so many 
barbarous Indians dwell." He requests of the commissioners a 
categorical answer, whether the treaty of Hartford, made in 1650, 
remains "firm and binding," and whether the patent of Hartford, 
newly obtained, shall extend westward. He says the answer al- 
ready given is not so decisive as he expected. He is willing to 
abide by the treaty of Hartford, if the rights of the United Neth- 
erlands and the Dutch West India Company are held sacred. 
He declines the proposition of deferring the decision until 1664, 
but is willing for the prevention of strife to submit the question to 
impartial arbitration. This letter is dated at Boston. 

On the 2.3d he writes again, hoping that "in consideration of 
the happy good understanding between Holland and England, the 
matter of limits," which he had come to Boston for the purpose 
of finally adjusting, "might be settled." But he found the de- 
mands of the commissioners no way answerable to the rights of 
his superiors. He therefore again urged the referring the matter 
to the two European governments. He desired to know whether 
there might not be such correspondence in America with the 
goodi and growth "of this poor Country," as is admitted in 
Europe ; and union against danger from Indians. In reply the 
commissioners say that their demand in respect of limits is less 
than their patent authorizes ; that they cannot act in respect to 
trade, but according to act of Parliament, and that as to confede- 
racy respecting the Indians, it shall be presented to the General 

* See Albahy Records, l6th vol. p. 292, and Bancroft. 
VOL. I. 15 


Court. The Commissioners of Connecticut make a similar an- 
swer to Stuyvesant's proposals. Tlie Colony of New Haven 
was not at this time merged in that of Connecticut, and was 
averse to such a measure. 

But while Stuy vesant was endeavouring to promote the interest 
of Holland in New Nedierland, and relied upon the pacification 
and professions of friendship between England and Holland, the 
profligate and faithless Charles the Second, with that liberality 
which distinguishes monarchs, magnanimously gave to his bro- 
ther James that which his Majesty did not possess, had no right- 
ful claims to, and could not use for the immediate gratification of 
his sensuality, the whole of the New Netherlands, and that part of 
Connecticut lying westward of Connecticut River. 

James, finding that all Long Island had been previously 
1664 given to to the Earl of Stirling, bought that claim for 
.£300. As to the Dutch rights of discovery or posses- 
sion, they were disregarded ; and while Holland confided in the 
treaties with England, her fleets were committing piracies upon 
the Dutch possessions in Africa, and wresting from them the 
whole New Netherland. 

The Royal Duke sent Colonel Richard Nicolls, with a squadron 
which carried commissioners to New England, and had orders with 
the assistance of Massachusetts to take possession of the Dutch 
province. Massachusetts, ever opposed to the government of the 
Stuarts, pretended inability to assist in the reduction of the Dutch 
settlements : this opposition to the commissioners was continued 
after the seizure of New Netherland, and its charter was pleaded 
against the royal authority. 

Lord Clarendon says that the royal commissioners sent out to 
the colonies in 1664, found those of the north already "hardened 
into republics." The truth is, that the people were republicans 
from the first. The first government founded in New England 
was democratic. England interfered as much as she could, but 
the people persevered in republicanism, always struggling against 
the power which had driven them from their homes, and still pur- 
sued them. The Dutch of New Netherland were'governed by 
officers appointed by the trading company that sent thenj out, and 
by the States General, but they had certain privileges secured to 
them ; they knew their rights as men ; and when they submitted 
to England, they jealously watched the encroachments both of 
church and state, which were attempted on the liberties secured 
by the capitulation. 

Chancellor Kent has observed that the conquest of New Neth- 
erland proved to the inhabitants very fortunate. They were relieved 
from controversy with their encroaching English neighbors ; had 
the privileges of English subjects, (or were entided to them,) and 


In a few years parllcipated in the blessings of a representative gov- 
ernment. " 'J'liey exchanged," he says, " their Roman jurispru- 
dence for the freer spiiit of tlie EngHsh common law." 

The instructions of Charles TI to Xicolls, Carteret, Carr, Cart- 
wright, and Chaverick, were, that the Dutch be reduced to an entire 
obedience. " It is high time," his majesty says, " to put them out 
of capacity of doing such mischief," as they had done elsewhere. 
Their right Is altogether disclaimed.* 

Although Massachusetts had evaded tlie order to assist the Com- 
missioners in subduing New Netherland, John Winthrop, the 
amiable and accomplished governor of Connecticut, joined the ex- 
pedition personally, and aided it by a body of troops, who were 
subsecpiently landed and encamped near Brooklyn. 

(Jovernour t^tuyvesant had procured Intelligence of the approach 
of an English squadron, widi hostile intentions, and consisting of 
two vessels, of fifty guns each, and one of forty, with six hundred 
soldiers, besides a full complement of men as sailors. He had 
assembled his Council and Burgomasters, repaired and furnished 
his fortress, and taken such -measures for defence as his spirit and 
experience dictated. The fleet anchored In Gravesend Bay. Stuy- 
vesant sent a deputation, consisting of John De Clyer, one of his 
Council, the Rev. John Megapolensis, Major Vandergreft, and some 
others, requesting to know the Intention of their approach without 
ffivinfj notice to the ma<rlstrates. 

Nicolls issued a proclamation, dated on board his majesty's ship, 
the " Guyny," stating that the Commissioners were sent to receive 
into his majesty's obedience, all foreigners who have, without his 
majesty's consent, seated themselves among his majesty's subjects ; 
promising to all who will submit to his majesty's government, pro- 
tection by his majesty's laws, with security to property, " and all 
other privileges widi his majesty's subjects." And to the Governour 
and Council " of the Manhattans," he addressed a letter by his 
deputies, to let them know that "his majesty of Great Britain," 
had commanded him to require the surrender of all places, in pos- 
session of the Dutch, Into his hands : he therefore demands the 
town and forts, promising to all who shall readily submit, estate, 
life, and liberty ; otherwise, the miseries of war. An answer is 
requested by return of "Colonel George Carteret, one of his ma- 
jesty's Commissioners in America," and Messrs. Robert Needham, 
Edward Groves, and Thomas Delavall. 

Governour vStuyvesant promised an answer on the morrow, and 
immediately convened his Council. He proposed a defence, and, 
fearing the terms offered by the surrender would be acceptable to 

See Hazard, 2 Vol. p. 640. 


the people, whose discontent with the government of the States he 
was vvell aware of, refused to submit to them the summons of 

Governour Winthrop, who probably had joined in this expedition, 
with the hope of preventing bloodshed by his interposition, wrote 
to the Dutch Director, recommending acceptance of the terms 
offered, and a surrender by capitulation. These terms Stuyvesant 
refused to communicate to the burghers, and issued his orders for 
the defence of the place entrusted to him. 

On the 2^d of August, the Council again met, and demanded to 
know the terms offered by Nicolls. The governour again refused, 
and tore the summons to pieces before them. To the Commis™ 
sioners he wrote a letter, stating the Dutch claims to the province, 
and concluding with his determination to defend the fort and city.* 

It was in vain that Petrus Stuyvesant endeavoured to infuse his 
own spirit into the people of the colony, who had already made up 
their minds that if their property could be secured to them, 
1664 a change of government was for their interest. In vain he 
represented that the Fatherland required resistance to En- 
glish injustice ! In vain he asked, how a surrender, without a 
struggle, would be viewed in the land of their fathers ? The subjects 
of England were already mingled among those of the States, and 
all wished for the promised rights of Englishmen. The proclama- 
tion of Nicolls had its effect. Hide, who commanded the squadron 
under Nicolls, was ordered to attack the fort. Stuyvesant sent 
deputies with a second letter, proposing delay and accommodation. 
But Nicolls knew full well the disposition of the people, and an- 
swered that he would only treat of surrender. 

The next day, the 26th of August, the Governour of NewNeth- 
erland agreed to a surrender, with an overpowering force arrayed in 
hostility before him, and no disposition evinced by those within call 
or view, to support him. 

Nicolls had said, " on Thursday I will see you at Manhattoes, 
with my ships." The armament entered the harbour, and the sturdy 
old governour yielded to necessity and surrendered. After the ca- 
pitulation had been agreed to by the magistrates, he reluctantly 
signed it. On the 3d of September, New Amsterdam became 
New York, and the fort was called "James." On the 24th, Fort 
Orange surrendered, and took the name of Albany ; and early in 
October, the settlements on the Delaware capitulated. t 

Although Stuyvesant did not show to his burgomasters the 
terms offered by Nicolls, or the letter of advice from Governour 
Winthrop of Connecticut, there can be no doubt that tlie reasons 

gee Appendix J. t See Appendix K. 


for surrender, vvliicii the latter gave, had great weight with tlie 
Director (general of New Nethcrland. 

When the terms of surrender were signed by the EngUsh depu- 
ties, who met the deputies of the Dutch at Covernour Stuyvesant's 
house, in the Bowery, ahhough favourable, and agreed to by those 
he had nominated, (John De Decker, Cornelius Shenwyck, James 
Coupease, JNicholas Verleet, Sanmel Megapolensis, and OlofFe S. 
Van Kortlandt,) he yet withheld his signature for two days. At 
length the compact w^as concluded, and to the above mentioned 
names, and those of Robert Carr, George Carteret, John Win- 
throp, Samuel Wyllis, Thomas Clarke, and John Pinchon, was 
added that of Petrus Stuyvesant. 

By these articles, it was agreed that the States General and West 
India Company should enjoy all their fast property except that in 
forts, and all arms and ammunition belonging to them at the time of 
surrender to be transported or paid for. That the public buildings 
should continue for the uses intended. That the people should en- 
joy all property as before, with the privilege of removing if tliey chose 
so to do, and any public officer if he wished to go to England 
should be conve3'ed in his majesty's frigates. That people might 
freely come from the Netherlands and plant in this polony. That 
ships and goods should be received and depart for six months, as 
theretofore. That the Dutch should enjoy liberty of conscience and 
church discipline. That no Dutchman or ship should be pressed into 
military service. That no soldiers should be quartered on the towns- 
men without being paid for. That the Dutch should enjoy their own 
laws of inheritance, and public records should be kept as usual, nei- 
ther should any decision of Court heretofore made be called in ques- 
tion. That the Dutch should have liberty of traffic with the Eng- 
lish and Indians. That an}^ public debt of the town should be paid 
as theretofore. That jNIagistrates should continue until the time of 
election, and then be chosen by the people as before, said officers 
taking the oath to his majesty of England. That contracts thereto- 
fore made should be determined by ]3utch usage. That the military 
should march out with their arms, drums beating, colors flying, and 
lighted matches ; and that if any of them chose to become planters 
they should have 50 acres of land and become free denizens. That 
the fort Aurania, (Albany) should be levelled, but if any persons 
should have property therein they should enjoy it. That soldiers or 
others w-ishing to go to Europe should have free passport from Col. 
R. NicoUs. That the copy of the king's grant to hi^ royal highness, 
and his royal highness's commission to Richard NicoUs, testified by 
Mr. Wlnthrop, should be delivered to the Hon. Mr. Stuyvesant, the 
present governour ; these articles were signed by Col. Nicolls, and 
fort and town were accordingly delivered to him. 

The inhabitants of New Netherland very generally became sub- 

118 coxxECTicuT cincu:\iscrtiBED. 

jects of CIreat Britain. Governoiir Stuyvesant remained on his 
estate ; and after a voyage to Holland, passed the remainder of his 
life on his estate in the Bowery. At his death his remains were in- 
terred within a chapel which he had erected upon his own land. 
Chief Justice Smith,* writing about 1757, says, that the Stuyvesant 
estate was at that time possessed by the governour's great gi-andson 
" (jerardus Stuyvesant, a man of probity, who had been elected into 
the Magistracy above thirty years successively."! 


Connecticut is confined within limits hy the DuTix of Yorli — Conduct 
of Nicolls — Discontent of the Tow/is — Francis Lovelace, Gov- 
ernovr — Continnation of the Histori/ of the Iroquois till 1671 — 
The Rev. Mr. James — The Lntheran Church in New York. 

At the time,of the hostile seizure of New Netherland by the arms 
of Charles II, England and Holland were in a state of peace. Not- 
withstanding which, Charles granted to his brother James the whole 
territory, with part of Connecticut. James, finding that Longlsland 
had been already given to the Earl of Stirling, bought it as we have 
noticed above, for ^300.| The grant to James, Duke of York, 
gave to him mid his assig7)s the power of government, and he as- 
signed that part of New Netherland now called New Jersey, 
16G4 to Lord Berkley and Sir George Carteret. 

By the surrender to Richard Nicolls, and the mandate of 
Charles, Connecticut lost all her territory on Long Island, and part 
of what she had seized on the main, her boundaries being fixed on 
one side by the Sound, and on the other by a line running north 
from the Sound at Mamaroneck Creek, and another confining her 
witiiin ten miles of the Hudson River. 

Nicolls, under the style of Deputy Governour for his royal high- 
ness, James, Duke of York, during his short stay in New York, 
filled his coffers by new grants of land and by making the posses- 
sors of former grants pay him for confirmations. He had likewise 

* See his History of New-York. 

t The pear tree whieli now stands at the corner of 13th street and 3d Avenue, 
marivs tlie spot of tlie old povernour's garden, and was proliabiy brought from Hol- 
land, when he repaired thither to account to his superiors, which he did inuue- 
'diately after tiie surrender. See. Appendix L. 

t See MSS. papers, N. Y. Hist. Library. 


n joint power with Carr, Carteret and Maverick, to settle contested 
boundaries of certain great patents, a further source of wealth. 
He instituted a race-course and races at Hempstead, on Lone; 
Island ; and his successor in the government, appointed by procla- 
nration, directed to the Justices, that races should take place in the 
month of May ; and that subscriptions be taken of all such as 
■were disposed to run for " a crown in silver, or the value in good 

He ordained that henceforth all purchases made of the Indians 
should be by agreement with the Sachems and recorded before the 
Governour. Purchasers, to encourage them, were made fj-ee from 
assessments for five years. Liberty of conscience was promised, 
and the townships were allowed to frame their own laws for cases 
whliin themselves. He particularly encouraged settlements on the 
west side of Hudson river, near Esopus. INfinisters were to be 
supported in every township, each man paying his proportion of 
the salary agreed upon. Officers, civil and military, were to be 
chosen by the freeholders of the town. The municipal privileges 
of Albany remained untouched ; and he prudently changed 
1665 the mode of government in New York by degrees, and in- 
troduced a Mayor, five Aldermen, and a Sheriff, instead of 
a Scout, Burgomasters, and Schepens. Thomas Willet, an Eng- 
lishman, was appointed INIayor by the Governour ; the five Burgo- 
masters were tiansformed to Aldermen, and the Scout to a Sheriff. 

Captain John Underhill, being now a resident of Oyster Bay, 
had the appointment of High Constable of the North Riding on 
Long Island. 

The governour chose his own council to suit himself, and pos- 
sessed both executive and legislative powers. The Court of As- 
size was composed of justices appointed by the governour, and 
dependent on him. This court only served to lessen his responsi- 

Nicolls called a convention of two deputies from each town to 
meet him at Hempstead, but conceded no liberty to the people. 
The assembly merely settled the limits of the towns, and tlien 
signed a loyal address to the duke. Their constituents scorned 
them for their servility.* 

The seizure of New Netherland in time of profound peace, 
caused an open war between England and Holland, which being 
proclaimed in London, notice was sent to Nicolls, at New Fork, 
with information from the ministry that the terrible De Ruyter was 
to be sent to wrest New York from the English. This apprehen- 
sion proved without foundation, and by the peace of Breda, con- 

* See Wood, and N. Y. Hist. Collections. 


eluded 21st July, 1GG7, the province was ceded to England in lieu 
of Surinam. During the war, however, Nicolls confiscated the 
property of the Dutch West India Company in New York, which 
had been assured to them by the treaty with Governour Stuyvesant. 
Although the people of New York were disappointed of their 
expectations by the non-establishment of a representative govern- 
ment, Nicolls appears upon the whole to have conducted himself 
with uncommon moderation, considering that he was in fact a 
despot. After three years in America, the governour returned to 
England, in favour with his masters, who appointed Colonel Fran- 
cis Lovelace to succeed him. The king sent Nicolls a present of 
^200, and from his monument in Amphill church, Bedfordshire, 
England, it appears that he had the honour of serving Charles in 
his infamous war against Holland, undertaken by command of 
Louis XIV, whose pensioner he was ; for on that monument 
Richard Nicolls is recorded to have been killed on board the Duke 
of York's ship, in a fight with the Dutch, in 1672. 

I find no effort made by Nicolls to promote literature in the Co- 
lony, except that he licensed John Shute, an English schoolmas- 
ter, to open a school in Albany, for the purpose of teaching 
the people English ; and warranted him that he should be the only 
English schoolmaster in the place and be paid as much as any 
teacher of Dutch. His care of religion is proved, as well as his 
liberal opinions, by authorizing the Lutherans to send for a preacher 
of their sect, and by his order to the magistrates of New York to 

raise 1,200 guilders for the support of ministers. 
1667 Colonel Francis Lovelace arrived in New York, com- 

missioned by the Duke of York as his deputy governour. 
He appears to have followed the instructions of his master, and to 
have made as much out of the people as circumstances would ad- 
mit, exercising the unlimited authority established by Nicolls, levy- 
ing taxes and imposing duties without consulting the inhabitants. 
They, however, had imbibed different notions of govern- 
1669 ment and of the rights of the people, and meetings were 
held in the various towns, and a petition agreed upon for 

At the surrender of the Colony, the inhabitants were promised 
besides protection to person and property, all the other privileges of 
his majesty's English subjects. The people contended that a 
participadon in legislation was one of those privileges. They 
found their English governour as arbitrary as the Dutch Di- 
rector-general. They resolved to complain to the court of 
assize : and on the 9th of November, 1699, the towns of 
Hempstead, Jamaica, Oyster Bay, Flushing, Newtown, Graves- 
end, West Chester, and East Chester, severally petitioned for re- 
dress. They reprobated the exclusion of the people from any 

Lovelace's administration. 121 

share in legislation. Tiiey were assured by some trifling conces- 
sions, but denied redress in all the important points. 
1670 The court ordered contributions from the Long Island 

towns to repair the fort at New York. The peoj)le already 
deemed all taxation without representation, tyranny. They, in 
town meetings, resolved not to contribute unless their privileges 
should be obtained. The people of Huntington assigned as the 
reason for their refusal " because they were deprived of the liberty 
of Englishmen." The other towns protested to like effect. The 
resolutions of Flushing, Hempstead, and Jamaica, were laid be- 
fore die court of sessions of the West riding ; (the West riding 
was constituted of Staten Island, Newtown, and King's County,) 
and " that court, assisted by the secretary of the Colony and one 
of the council," adjudged the representations scandalous, illegal, 
and seditious ; and ordered the papers to be presented to the 
gpvernour and council, to proceed on as they should think might best 
tend to suppress such mischief. The papers were laid by Gover- 
ripur Lovelace before his council, who ordered them to be burnt by 
tlie hangman. 

The opinions of Lovelace were similar to those Shakspeare nuts 
in the mouth of Richard III. If the people were at ease and had 
leisure, they were to be " grumbling knaves" and find fault with 
those Heaven had set over them. To keep them in order, says 
the governour, " lay such taxes upon them as may not give them 
liberty to entertain any other thoughts but how to discharge them."* 

I will call the attention of my reader to the natives of New York 
arid the neighbourhood. Mr. Gallatin tells us that about this time 
the Indians of Massachusetts carried on even offensive operations 
against the Iroquois. Six hundred men marched into the Mo- 
hawk country and attacked one of the forts. They were repulsed 
with considerable loss : but, two years after, peace was made 
between these hostile tribes by the interference of the English 
and Dutch at Albany ; and the subsequent alliance of the Iro- 
quois with the British, after they had become permanently pos- 
sessed of New York, appears to have preserved the New Eng- 
land Indians from further attacks. 

A brief statement from father Charlevoixt of the affairs of Ca- 
nada and the Indians of New York, or their neighbours, up to this 
period appeai-s necessary. 

In 1650, M. Lanson was governour of New France. At this 
time the Iroquois proceeded to Trois Rivieres, attacked the set- 
tlement, and carried off the commandant of the place prisoner. 
Montreal was only saved by the timely arrival of one hundred sol- 

* LeUer to Hit Robert Carr. + Hist, of Canada. 

VOL I. 16 


diers from France, sent, as the historian says, by a pious virgin 
and by the mother of God, the particidar patroness of die place. 
This warfare and interchange of murders continued until 1G54 ; 
when a priest was sent to Onondaga to ratify it. With difficulty 
the JVIohawks were reconciled to this measure, as it gave the more 
western tribes an advantage to trade, heretofore enjoyed by the 
eastern, from their vicinity to Albany. They were, however, paci- 
fied, and received a French missionary among them, while two 
were sent to Onondaga. Conversions and miracles followed, as 
did a colony of fifty Frenchmen sent by the governour of Canada. 
This intrusion appears to have broken the good understanding of 
the parties. The Mohawks became suspicious, and in 1656 at- 
tacked the Hurons and their French allies : and the intruders upon 
Onondaga either discovering or suspecting a conspiracy to cut them 
off, secretly fled : open hostilities immediately followed. 

A new governour arrived from France in 1659, and the first bishop 
that had visited Canada. Still the colony was so weak that the 
Iroquois pursued and massacred the Algonkins, allies of the French, 
even under the walls of the fort at Quebec, and held that town in 
a species of blockade. This feebleness, and the hardihood of the 
Iroquois protected New Netherland from France, while Stuyve- 
sant was striving to avoid the impending blows of New and Old 

The French were not always worsted in their encounters with 
the Indians ; for in 1661 the Iroquois sent an embassy to Mon- 
treal with four French prisoners, offering to exchange them for eight 
of the red warriors who had been taken captive. The ambas- 
sadors were strengthened by a letter from all the French prisoners 
among the confederates, signed by them, and representing the ne- 
cessity of complying with the terms proposed, as otherwise they 
should be all sacrificed. The deputies were received and enter- 
tained at Montreal until the governour came from Quebec to meet 
them, and he succeeded in again making a peace. A missionary is 
sent to the Iroquois, and a new governour, M. D'Avoujaur, arrives 
from France. 

We are told by the Jesuit that the missionary sent in 1661 
was received with great honour by the Onondagas, (who are 
represented as the chief nation of die confederacy,) and the 
politeness of Garakonthee, their headman, is set forth at large. 
The priest harrangued the assembled chiefs, and they blamed 
the Mohawks as being the cause of the late hostiUties. Nine 
French prisoners were sent to Montreal in consequence of this 
conference, and the release of all the French prisoners, is pro- 
mised to " Ononthco," the name given by the Iroquois to all 
(he French governours. Garakonthee went to Montreal, but the 


Other tribes continued their liosliUtius. The Onondagas and Ivvo 
other tribes consented to receive missionaries. 

About this time tlie French received succours from home and 
the Iroquois were destroyed by small-pox. 

During the years 1GG4 and 1665, while Nicolls was adjusting New 
York to the government of James, another (Jovernour took the com- 
mand in Canada, bringing succours to the Colony. He caused 
forts to be erected at Trois Rivieres, and at Sorel : but he found 
that forts would not stop the Iroquois, and their incursions were 
continued. An invasion of their country was determined on, and 
preparations made to conquer these ruthless savages. The Iroquois 
saw the impending storm, and to prevent it sent two of their chiefs 
to Quebec. While these warriors were entertained by the Gover- 
nour at a feast, the fate of a French officer, supposed to be killed 
by the Indians, was inquired into. One of the Iroquois sachems 
arose, and lifting his naked red arm aloft, cried, " This is the hand 
that slew him!" "You shall kill no more," said the Governour, 
and ordered him to be strangled on the spot. 

Preparations for overwhelming the Iroquois wxre ready in 1666, 
and in the depth of winter, divided into several parties, the troops 
marched over the frozen lakes and through the wilderness to fall 
upon die enemy. One body of the Canadian forces lost their way, 
and after wandering several days without food, a])j)roached the 
lower INIohawk castle by the direction of the river a little above the 
falls, and in a weak, sinking, starving condition, would have inevi- 
tably been cut off, but that a Dutchman, of the name of Corlaer, 
had advanced beyond civilization into the wilderness, and formed 
a settlement where Schenectady now is. Corlaer, touched with 
their condition, furnished them shelter and food, and by repairing 
lo the INIohawk castle, represented this advancing party as only in- 
tended to call their attention, while a greater force fell upon their 
towns and castle from higher up the river. The Indians being 
thus prevented from destroying die exhausted Canadians, the 
Dutchman supplied them with provisions, which enabled them 
again to take to their repaired snow shoes and make their escape 
to Canada. Corlaer had his settlement in the midst of the Mo- 
hawks and in the vicinity of their lower castle. He was a great 
favourite of the Iroquois, but thought it his duty to save these 
Europeans, who could not at this time harm his Indian friends, 
and who very gladly escaped by making the best of their 
way home. From this man's name, Schenectady has by many 
been called Corlaer ; and from him the Iroquois long deno- 
minated the Dutch and afterwards all the people of the pro- 
vince " Corlaer.'''' The Iroquois sjioke of, and to, the go- 
vernours of New York by the name of Corlaer, as they called the 
French of Canada and their governours Onontheo. The go- 


vernours of Canada, in gratitude, offered to Mr. Corlaer an advanta- 
geous settlement, which he accepted ; but in passing Lake Cham- 
plain, was drowned. 

The result of the first attack upon the Iroquois, was only some 
skirmishes, in which the Indians lost their deserted wigwams, and 
■ the French, one officer and several soldiers. But the main body 
of their army moved through the wilderness with " all the pride, 
' pomp and circumstance of glorious war," and doubtless felt as if 
marching to conquest. With 1200 French disciplined soldiers, 
glittering in gold and its imitation, their white uniforms mocking 
the snow, and their colours flouting the storm, Mons. de Tracy led 
the main battle accompanied by the Chevalier de Chaumont, and 
other officers, equally gay and gallant. An equal number of Ca- 
nadians accompanied the European troops, as rangers and scouts. 
One hundred friendly Indians attended them. Mons. de Cour- 
celles led 100 men as the advance. Messrs. Sorel and Ber- 
thier commanded the reserve. Tracy was the general of the 
whole. Two field pieces accompanied this array, which was fur- 
nished with all that the province could afford. 

But before they could reach their enemy provisions failed, and 
the French approached the Iroquois towns half famished. Their 
Algonquins had only served to give the alarm to the nearest town, 
the inhabitants of which fled. The army entered the first village 
in order of battle, drums beating, and colours flying. They found 
some old men, women and children, such as could not fly. These 
they made prisoners. They however relieved their hunger by 
plenty of provisions accumulated by the Indians for winter. Maga- 
zines of corn were found buried, " enough," says Charlevoix, " for 
the colony for two years." The Europeans could only admire the 
Indian dwellings, and burn them, (juided by their Algonkins, 
they entered a second and a third deserted village, but at the fourth 
a stand was made by the warriours. It appears that resistance was 
feeble. The extraordinary force of the French army caused the 
Iroquois to fly to their swamps, where they could not be foIlowe<^ 
— at least in battle array. The cabins Avere given to the flames, 
and as much destruction spread around as possible ; and then M. 
de Tracy thinking that he had sufficiently displayed the power "of 
France, and thereby could, with the forts on the St. Lawrence and 
elsewhere, keep the savages in check, retired with his army to Mon- 
treal, having lost but one officer and a few soldiers. 

C olden, in his history of the Five Nations, says, that M. 
de Courcelles added to the enmity of the Iroquois by hanging 
Agarinta, a chief who had gone to Canada as an ambassador to 
apologize for the breach of the peace on the part of the Mohawks. 

During the year 1667, M. Perot ascended beyond the Mich- 


ileniackenac and cultivated tlic iVicudship of the Indians in that quar- 
ter. The next year found the Mohawk villages renewed, and the 
Iroquois more determined friends to the English and foes to the 
French than ever, if possible. 

The great preparations for the expedition ended in no advantage 
whatever. The French court sent out more troo])s to Canada, 
and instructions were given to diminish the numbers of the Iroquois 
as much as possible, and to send such as were made prisoners to 
France, that they might be made to serve in the king^s gal/eys. 

A temporary peace, however, was maintained between the Five 
Nations and Canada, and the rulers of that province sent their 
priests as spies and missionaries among the Indians, while the 
Duke of York ordered his governours " to give these priests all the 
encouragement in their power ;" thus assisting the French in the 
plan of gaining to their interests the people who were the only barrier 
between them and the colonists of New York, and who, if conquer- 
ed, removed, or gained over to the French interest, would eventu- 
ally give them the province James had just seized, and probably 
all the Enijlish colonies. 

The governour of Maryland sent Col.Courseyto Albany to gain 
the friendship of the Iroquois for that province, and \'irginia ; but 
while the sachems and the Colonel were in friendly conference, a 
party of }'oung warriours who were out amusing themselves with burn- 
ing houses and taking scalps, fell in with some Susquehannahs, 
friendly to Maryland, killed four of them and brought home six as 
prisoners. Five of these captives falling to the lot of the Senecas 
were sent back to Maryland ; but the Oneidas kept the one that 
fell to their share. Another war party of Iroquois attacked the 
Indians in alliance with Virginia, but a body of colonists from Vir- 
ginia fell upon the Iroquois, defeated them with slaughter, and 
took some prisoners. In return, the Indians murdered the Vir- 
ginia planters, fired their dwellings, and bore off in triumph four 
scalps and six prisoners. This seems to have interrupted the ne- 
gotiations at this time. 

There appears to have existed a jealousy among the English, 
particularly the colonists of New York, in regard to the Dutch of 
Schenectady, who were charged with misrepresenting the inten- 
tions of the English towards the Iroquois. 

The government of Virginia finding that the confederated 
1671 Indians of New York continued troublesome, sent two gen- 
tlemen, Messrs. Kendal and Littleton, to Albany, for the 
purpose of renewing friendship with them, and Gov. Lovelace re- 
paired thither to aid them and regidate the affairs of New York in 
that quarter. Before leaving the city of New York to embark on 
this perilous voyage, Lovelace appointed Cornelius Heinwick, 
who was one of his counsel, to administer the government during 

120 Lovelace's administration. 

his absence ; but in case of any thing extraordinary, he was in- 
structed to send to the governour. The garrison, by these instruc- 
tions, is not to be meddled with, " hut left to C(q)t. Manning as 
vsiuil.^^ The date of these instructions is July 19th, 1671. A 
pass was given to a young Indian to visit the Maquas, (Mohawks) 
and a passage was given him with the governour to Albany. 

In his speech to the Iroquois, Mr. Kendal complained of the 
hostilities which had been committed by them ; but, he said, by 
persuasion of the governour of New York, the government of Vir- 
ginia would excuse therti, provided such injuries were refrained 
from in future ; presents as usual were given to the Indians and 
peace promised. 

Mr. Littleton died at Albany, and the Indians in token of con- 
dolence presented to Mr. Kendal a belt of black uranjmm. Pro- 
fessions of friendship were renewed by speeches and belts ; but 
neither the Onondagas nor the Oneidas were present at this treaty 
as it is called. Notwithstanding these ceremonies, die Iroquois 
were kept at variance with Virginia by the intrigues of the French 
priests residing among them, particularly with the Onondagas and 

To the honour of the Rev. Mr. James, of East Hampton, it is 
recorded that he received the thanks of Gov. Lovelace for his en- 
deavors to instruct the Indians. The governour likewise requested 
a copy of the catechism Mr. James had drawn up for their use, widi 
some chapters of the Bible which lie translated for their use into 
their tongue, that these works might be sent to England to be print- 
ed. It is stated that the labours of Mr. James had been crowned 
with great success. As there was no printer in New York, the gov- 
ernour says he had sent for one to Boston, but thinks the effort would 
be unavailing. In fact it is well known that the policy of the Eng- 
lish government discouraged the introduction of printing presses 
into the colonies ; and it was long afterwards that New York re- 
ceived the first establishment of this kind from Philadelphia. 

Richard Nicolls had, during his administration, given permission 
to the Lutherans of New York to send for a minister to Europe, and 

in this year Mr. Jacob Fabricius arrived. 
1669 The governour by proclamation made known that the 
Reverend Gentleman was allowed to exercise his office as 
pastor, as it was the pleasure of the duke that the Ludicrans should 
be tolerated in New York, and promised his protection to the sect, 
as long as they "behave orderly; and as long as his royal high- 
ness shall not order othcnvisc.^^ Governour Lovelace, further gave 
a iiass to the reverend gentleman to go to Albany, which he did, 
but unhappily engaged in controversy with the magistrates of that 
place, who had authorized the " consummation of a marriage" be- 
tween Hdmcr Ottcn, and Adriantzc Arcntz, " his wife according 

Lovelace's administration. 127 

to the law of llic land."* For this ofTence Fahricliis fined Mr. Often 
1000 Rix-dollars, and the Covcrnour suspended Mr. Fal)rlcius from 
the exercise of his ministerial functions in Albany, until his friends 
should intercede with the magistrates of that place, and diey should 
be willing diat he be restored. But in the mean time he is allowed 
to preach in New York. It appears, however, that IS[r. Fabricius 
was dissatisfied with the province, and his congregation with him, 
for he only exercised the liberty given by preaching a farewell ser- 
mon. He, before departing, installed another minister, Mr. Bernar- 
dus Arint, and the governour gave to Mr. Martin Hoffman per- 
mission, upon " petition of the minister and elders of the Lutheran 
church of New York," to go to Delaware for the purpose of soli- 
citing benefactions to assist them in building a place of worship. 

It appears that Mr. Bernardus Arint had newly arrived, and the 
Lutherans accused Mr. Fabricius of certain misdemeanours, which 
induced the governour to call his council together, with the aMer- 
men, " and other grave persons," who limited the preaching of 
Fabricius to a farewell sermon, and his functions to installing a 

The officers of the Dutch Church petitioned the gover- 

1671 nour and council, for leave to lay a rate, or tax, on the con- 
gi'egation for the support of ministers, repairs of the church, 

and support of the poor : permission was accordingly given. The 
governour had previously, upon application of the elders and dea- 
cons of this church " to take some care" for providing them ortho- 
dox ministers, offered 1000 guilders per annum, with house and 
fire wood, to any such as would come over. 

By extracts from the minutes of the council, we know that it 
was composed of Mr. Lawrence, the mayor, with Messrs. Willet, 
Bedlow, Boone, Whitefield, Delavall, Van Ruyren, and Mathias 
Nicholls, secretary. 

Charles the II. having entered into a war with Holland, 

1672 orders arrived to Lovelace to put the province in a state of 
defence. The fort at New York was, as we have seen, in- 
trusted to Captain Manning ; and the governour solicited pecuniary 
aid from the counties for repairing the defences of the city. Mea- 
sures were taken for the security of Albany, and a small fort was 
recommended to be erected at Anthony's Nose, or near it on the 
North River. 

.Marriages were iolemuizetl liy license from tlie governour. 



Holland re-conquers New Amsterdam — The fort — Garrison com- 
manded by CajJtain Manning — New Orange — Anthony Colve 
— Again restored to the English, and Andros ajipointed as the 
Duke of Yorlts governour—Toum meetings on Long Island, and 
amplication for a representative assembly denied by James — New 

1673 The war of 1672, commenced by Charles the 11. against 
the Dutch, (by order of Louis XIV.) under the most fri- 
volous pretences, produced the surrender of New York to a squadron 
from Holland of five ships, commanded by Jacob Benkes and 
Cornelius Evertse, junior, Commodores : and Anthony Colve, 
Nicholas Boes and Abraham Frederick Van 2^ye, Captains.* 

Ebeling the Dutch Historian, says, when Benkes and Evertson 
took New York for the states of Holland, they called together the 
civil officers, and the Dutch conquerors were received with joy. 
The commissions were renewed, and three Courts of Justice es- 
tablished : at New Amstel, Delaware Bay, or South River ; Op- 
land, and Esopus. Lovelace had permission to return to Englahd, 
where he was not well received, and was punished for the loss of 
the province, diough no provision had been made to enable him 
to defend it. His goods were seized to satisfy a small claim which 
the king had on him.t 

It will be recollected diat the towns of Long Island when called 
upon to aid Lovelace in repairing the defences of the city, refused. 
It will be remembered that the fort had forty-six cannon, and was 
garrisoned by one company of regular soldiers, commanded by 
Captain Manning. The Dutch squadron came to anchor at Staten 
Island, probably at the watering place near the present Quarantine 
ground. Some communications by message or letter passed be- 
tween the commodores and Manning, after which the ships came 
up, the troops were landed, and the fort given up to them. 

I find an entry in the Secretary's Office of die Corporation of 
New York, in the following words, " July 30th. being Wednesday 

* I will remark of Dutch names, that the termination " se" is used indiscrimi- 
nately with "sen," and means in English "son": thus the Dutch commodore is 
called Evertse, Evertsen, or Evertson. The English say in like manner Fitzjames, 
for the son of James : and General Winthrop in Iti'Jl, is called Fitzjohn, being the 
i<on of John. Robertson, Watson, etc. are likewise English, as " i\Iac," is Scotch 
The Evertsons of New York, were here before 1673. 

t Sec Eblina's work, publibhcd in 17%. 


in the forenoon, the Mayor and Aldermen having received a letter 
from the Admiral and Commander of the fleet, now riding under 
Staten Island, did thereupon summon the chiefs of the inhabitants 
to appear at the State House, and communicated the said letter 
unto them, which was from word to word as followeth."* Here 
follows the letter or summons of the commodores, in Dutch, 
signed Jacob Benkes, CorneHs Evertsen d' Jonge," — A me- 
morandum closes the page thus : " memorandum." " On the 
30th day of July, stilo vetery, ano. 1G73, was the fort and city 
of New York taken by the Dutch." In these transactions, the 
governour's name does not appear. He was permitted to return 
to Europe with admiral or commodoi-e^ Benkes. The city was 
called New Orange, and Anthony Colve was commissioned as 
governour of the province, at the fort, now named Fort "William 

The magistrates and constables from New Jersey, Long Island,. 
Esopus and Albany, appeared at New Orange, and swore allegi- 
ance to the States General, and the Prince of Orange ; but Gover- 
nour Colve ruled a very short time : a treaty of peace was signed 
at Westminster, between England and the States General, which 
restored to either party, any and all countries, towns, forts, etc. 
" that have or shall be taken on both sides since the time that the 

late unhappy war broke out." 
1674 Peace was concluded on the 0th of February, 1674, and 

James to remove any question that might arise from the 
Dutch occupation, obtained a new patent from his brother, and im- 
mediately appointed Sir Edmund Andros as the Governour for his 
province, now again, New York ; and he was commissioned to 
raise 100 men as a garrison for the fort, again called fort James. 
The qualifications of Andros for carrying in effect the designs of 
the Duke of York must have been previously known, for two days 
after the renewal of the patent he was commissioned. This new 
patent confirmed to the Duke the power to enact all such ordinances 
as he 07- his assigns should think fit, with appeal to the King and 
Council. No persons could trade widi the province but by his 
permission ; and he could establish such imposts as he deemed 
necessary. The Duke's instructions to Andros required him, says 

* See Appendix, M. 

t When Benkes and Evertse arrived at New York, and Manning surrendered 
the fort, they took an English vessel of New England. The Connecticut govern- 
ment sent messengers to the Dutch aihniral, remonstrating against subjecting the 
English of Long Island; and against the capture of the vessel. The Dutch com- 
mander answered, that they were commissioned to do all damage to the English 
by land and sea ; that if the towns of Long Island, did not submit they would re- 
duce them; and wondered that any question was made as to their taking enemies 
ships: Connecliiiit raised her militia and sent troops to Long I.=land lo protect the 

VOL. I. 17 


Thomas F. Gordon, " to respect the estates of the colonists," and 
to distribute justice, in the king's name, according to the forms es- 
tabhslied by his predecessors. 

The province was resigned to Andros by Anthony Colve, on the 
31st of October, 1674, according to Chief Justice Smith, and the 
first records of coimcil after the English government was re-estab- 
lished, are dated on that day, and it was then that the fort was sur- 
rendered to Andros. It was at this council ordered that all magis- 
trates, who were In office when the Dutch came, should continue 
for six months from that time. Orders were likewise issued that 

the oath of allegiance should be taken by the inhabitants. 
1675 In addition to the punishment of Lovelace in England, 

Andros had orders to seize the estate of the ex-governour for 
the benefit of the Duke of York ; but Manning had repaired to Eng- 
land, and so far found favour with the king, that the traitor returned 
to New York and underwent the form of a trial, which (although he 
confessed that he had treacherously surrendered the fort, and it 
was proved that his garrison was willing to defend it) resulted In a 
sentence which spared life, liberty and property — he only suffering 
the disgrace of having his sword broken, while held by the execu- 
tioner over his head, in front of the town house at Coentles Slip. 
May we not conjecture that the needy and profligate Charles was 
pacified by receiving part of the bribe Manning had taken from the 
Dutch ? for we know that the king was as mercenary as he was 
debauched and profuse. To satisfy the Duke, It was necessary 
that the traitor should return to the scene of his treason and un- 
dergo the disgrace above mentioned. The pimlshment must have 
been ordered to be thus slight, compared with the offence, for it 
was not conformable to the character of Sir Edmund to be merci- 
ful : his pride and cruelty were soon made conspicuous. His orders 
were to be as humane as was consistent with the Duke's interest, 
and to use punishment rather as a means of terror than an instru- 
ment of cruelty. 

On the 17th of October, 1675, " Edmund Andross, Esq., 
Seigneur of Saumarez," by virtue of authority derived from the 
Duke oi" York, appointed Mr. William Dervall to be Mayor, 
Messrs. Gabriel Minvielle, Nicholas De Meyer, Thomas Gibbs, 
Thomas Lewis, and Stephanus Van Cortlandt, to be Aldermen. 
John Sharpe was appointed Sheriff. It was ordered that four al- 
dermen should be a Court of Sessions. 

The Council at this time was Mr. Lawrence, Capt. Brockholst, 
Capt. Dyre, with the Mayor, Aldermen and Secretary. 

Nicholas Bayard, with Messrs. Cornelius Stelnwick, Johannes 
Depeyster, Johannes Van Burgh, Cornelius Luyk, Wm. Beekman, 
Jacob Kip, and Antonius De xMIll, had been charged. In the pro- 
i^edlng March, with endeavouring to disturb the peace of the 


Chief Justice Smith, tell.< us, in his Hist, of N. Y., that .Tame.-* 
" probably to serve tiie po])isii cause," recommended a clergyman 
of the name of Rensaellaer, to fill one of the churches of New- 
York or Albany ; he appears to have chosen Albany, and laid claim 
to the colunicov manor of Rensaellerwycke, a tract of land extcndinf^, 
says Smith, " twenty-four miles upon Hudson's River, and as 
many on each side." This claim was referred to legal de- 
cision, and subsequently decided against the clergyman, and in 
favour of Kilian \-m\ Rensaellaer. His church preferment was 
equally unsuccessfid, although he was supported by Andros. The 
congregation of the Dutch Church, among whom appears Jacob 
Leisler, opposed this iirotcgee of the Duke of York, and put 
forward, as the champion of the classis of Amsterdam, (nominally, 
but probably of the j)rotestant religion,) Dominie Niewenhuyt who 
objected to Rensaellaer as having received an episcopal ordination. 
The magistrates of Albany, as w ell as his people, sided with Niew- 
enhuyt, who was summoned to New York, and by frequent jour- 
neys so harrassed, that the inhabitants of the city took part with 
him. At Albany the magistrates threw Rensaellaer into prison, on 
a charge of certain " dubious words" spoken by him in a sermon. 
Andros released him, and brought a suit for false imprisonment, 
requiring bail of each magistrate to the amount of .£5000, and 
imprisoning Jacob Leisler for refusing. From this it appears that 
Leisler was, in 1675, a magistrate of Albany, and a jealous suppor- 
ter of the liberty of the people and of the protestant cause. The 
popular voice finally prevailed, and Andros gave up the contest. 
Smith in his History of N. Y., very justly observes that these po- 
pish measures might have caused the violent convulsions in 16S8-9, 
in which Leisler bore so conspicuous a part. 

The indication of a determination on the part of the people to 
assert their rights was as apparent as the disposition of Andros and 
his master, to subvert both civil and religious freedom. The in- 
habitants of Long Island called town meetings, and those who had 
formerly been under the jurisdiction of Connecticut, where Charles 
had carelessly, or from the whim of the moment, given Winthrop 
authority to establish a representative government, resolved to ad- 
here to that province ; but this James would not allow, and the 
whole island was subjected to the government of New York. An- 
dros laid the claims of these people (many of whom had setded on 
the island as Connecticut men) before the Duke, but James replied, 
" I cannot but suspect assemblies would be of dangerous conse- 
quence : nothing being more kaown than the aptness of such bodies 
to assume to themselves many privileges which prove destructive 
to, or very often disturb the peace of government when they are 
allowed. Neither do I see any use for them. Things that need 
redress, may be sure to find it at the quarter sessions," (over which 


the governoLir, appoinletl by the Duke, presided,) " or by appeals 
to myseh*." 

Andros sent a very civil letter to the government of Connecticut, 
informing them that he claimed for the Duke of lork as far castas 
the Connecticut River. The messenger was directed to deliver 
this letter to the general court without hinting its contents until ad- 
mitted to an audience. Andros foresaw that the claim would be re- 
sisted ; but nothing daunted he equipped an armed force sufficient 
to reduce the fort at Saybrook, and proceeded with it to take pos- 
session of the river described as the limits of his government : and, 
on the 9th of July, 1675, he appeared with his vessels and troops 
opposite the fort. The militia of the neighbourhood quickly re- 
paired to the place, which was ungarrisoned, and Captain Bull 
promptly took the command, hoisted the kings colours and made 
show of resistance. 

The time for a formal summons, and as formal reply, gave op- 
portunity for hastily convening the general court and sending a pro- 
test against Andros's proceeding, and orders to resist the Duke's 
"governour, so that when the hostile summons was made and the 
king's colours hoisted by Andros, Bull answered by displaying the 
same standard and refusing to surrender, while Andros lay inactive 
opposite the fort. On receiving the protest, he asked and obtained 
permission to land, when he was met by Bull and others. A refer- 
rence was projDosed which Andros refused, and ordered his patent 
to be read. Bull forbade the reading. Andros's officer persisted, 
and was again commanded to desist, and in such manner as assured 
obedience. Andros seeing he must reti'eat or fight, chose the pru- 
dent part, and being accompanied to his boat by Bull and his mili- 
tia, the governour of New York sailed to the shore of Long Island. 

Some of the merchants of New York denied the legality of duties 
imposed arbitrarily. The grand jury indicted Dyer the collector 
as a traitor, for encroaching upon the liberties of English subjects. 
He was sent home for trial ; but no accuser followed. Meantime 
for a few months, the harbour was free — a free port. 

The opposition of the people caused Andros to make a 
1678 voyage to England for instructions ; he came back widi 
to orders to proceed as heretofore, but the duke condesended 
1683 to limit the arbitrary imposts that had been exacted to three 
years. This provoked universal disgust, and the next year, 
upon the increase of the duties, the people showed increased dis- 
pleasure with a government in which they had no voice. He at- 
tempted to reform the Reformed Dutch Church, but was obUged to 
abandon what he asserted was his prerogative. 

New Jersey had been assigned to odiers, and the assigns of James 
were vested with powers equal to those granted by patent to him ; 
yet by his countenance, if not instructions, his governour of New 


York assumed authority over both East and West Jersey. Philip 
Carteret had wisely encouraged a direct trade with Kngland, instead 
of circuitous importations through New York. This Andros en- 
deavoured to suppress by seizing the vessels of East Jersey. These 
efforts to make his province tributary was resisted by Carteret, upon 
which Andros had iiim seized in his place of residence, Elizabeth- 
town, and borne off prisoner to New York to answer for his conduct. 
The duke being obliged to acknowledge his assignment, made a 
pretence that he could not grant full prerogative to tSir George Car- 
teret, but yielded the point as one of courtesy and friendship. An- 
dros made the quakers of \\ est Jersey pay toll on the Delaware, but 
tliey applied to England and were redressed. Every where the 
people struggled for rights and deserved to be free. The represen- 
tative government of AVest Jersey which had been established in 
1G75, was continued, by the good sense of the proprietors. They 
were free, for they even elected their governour. 


Governour Dongan — T lie first representative Assemhhj — Charter of 
Ldibcrtics — Canadian affairs — Fort Frontignac — French Mis- 
sionaries, Priests and Jesuits among the Iroquois — Dongan coun- 
teracts the views of James — The Governours of Virginia and 
New York meet the Iroquois at Albany — They jn'ofcss to he, and 
are, independent : the interpreter represent them as otherwise — Ex- 
pedition of M. Bar re against the Iroquois — His distress — He is 
reproved by an Indian — Dongan protests againMa French fort at 
Niagara — De Nofivillc's expedition — Dongan recalled. 

16S3 Governour Andros returned to England in the full 
favour of James, Duke of York ; and was soon after sent 
by Charles to introduce a system of tyranny into New England. 

Colonel Thomas Dongan, a professed papist, but a wiser man 
than his master, was conmiissioncd as governour of the Duke's 
province of New York, September 30th, 16S2, but did not arrive 
until the 25th of August, 1683 ; and the records of the New York 
Common Council inform us, that he was pleased to appoint the 
magistrates to meet him at the City Hall, (Coenties Slip,) when he 
read and published his commission ; and the magistrates waited 
upon him to the fort and invited him to dine with them at the City 
Hall. Dongan was instructed by James, through the advice of 
William Penn, to call an assembly of representatives. 


It appears strange that two men so essentially different as James^ 
Duke of York, and William Penn, should be upon terms of inti- 
macy ; and that the latter should have sufficient influence over the 
royal papist, to procure an amelioration of the mode of government 
for the Duke's territories in America. Penn's father, the Admiral, 
had been in favour with the restored Stuarts ; the more, for having 
been censured by Cromwell ; and the son, though a quaker and a 
man of piety, embued with liberal principles, was listened to by 
James when proposing what was in opposition to the will of his 
Royal Highness. No doubt the representations made by Andros 
respecting the turbulent opposition of the province to several of his 
measures, and the call for a representative assembly, as promised 
by Nicolls, gave weight to the arguments of Penn, and produced 
that portion of the instructions to Dongan which yielded to the 
people a voice in the government of New York, although contrary 
to the disposition and avowed maxims of James. His brother 
Charles had proved by the charters he had granted to Rhode Island 
and Connecticut, that he was indifferent in respect to the manage- 
ment of the colonies, provided his immediate revenue was not 
touched ; and his opinions and acts added weight to the persuasions 
of Penn, as being those of the Duke's sovereign. Thus by the 
persuasion of a Quaker, did a bigotted Roman Catholic prince give 
orders to a papistical governour for establishing a representation of 
the people as a portion of that government which he desired to be 
exercised despotically over them. 

Dongan having as just mentioned arrived, been proclaimed, and 
received with honour, in the month of August of this year, on the 
17th day of October following, "twenty years," says Bancroft, in 
his History of the United vStates, " after Manhattan was first occu- 
pied, and about thirty years after the first demand of the popular 
convention by the Dutch, the representatives of the people met in 

The assembly consisted of 17 members, and never exceeded 27 
down to the commencement of the revolutionary war. It exercised 
a discretionary power as to the grant of supplies for the support of 
government. This was a constant source of difference between the 
assemblies and the governours ; the latter invariably wishing for a 
permanent provision. Fletcher began the struggle, as we shall see, 
in ] 696 ; and it continued as long as England appointed governours 
for New York. 

The Charter of Liberties declared, " Supreme Legislative power 
shall forever reside in the governour, council, and people, met in 
general assembly. Every freeholder and freeman shall vote for 
representatives withoiU restraint. No freeman shall suffer but by 
judgment of his peers ; and all trials shall be by a jury of twelve 
men. No tax shall be assessed on any pretence whatever, but by 
the consent of the assembly. No seaman or soldier shall be quar- 


tered on the inhabitants against their will. ]\o martial law shall 
exist. No person jjrofessino; t'aith in God, by Jesus Christ, shall 
at any time be any ways disquieted or questioned for any difference 
of opinion."* But James ascended the throne of England and 
showed his true character. A direct tax was decreed by 
168G an ordinance. Fees and quitrents were extorted by ques- 
tioning titles to real estate : and the yeomen of Easthampton 
having protested against this tyranny, six were arraigned before the 
Council. t 

It will not be uncharitable to suppose, that although James yield- 
ed to the advice of Penn, and to what seemed to be present ne- 
cessity, he had determined to seize the first opportunity for estab- 
lishing an arbitrary government in New York ; for, Andres 
the late governour, was deputed by Charles, with powers which 
subverted all the charters of New England ; and he landed 
in Boston as governour of all those colonies. Glittering with 
gold, and surrounded by scarlet minions, he prepared to over- 
throw the liberties so cherished by the Puritans. He was empcyw-^' 
ered and instructed by James, upon his accession to the crown, to 
remove or appoint members of the Council ; and (having created 
that body) to make laws, levy taxes, and controul the Militia, with 
the consent of counsellors appointed by himself. To this same 
Governour Andros, with the same powers, did James, as King of 
England, consign New York ; although, as Duke of York, he had 
granted to the province an Assembly of representatives with other 

It was the great desire of James to introduce the Roman Catholic 
religion into New York, and Dongan was commissioned by him 
with that view ; but the Deputy Governour proceeded with more 
caution in America than was pleasing to his master. This caused 
his removal in 1686, \vhen James succeeded to the throne. We 
shall see that the artifices of France to gain the Iroquois by the in- 
troduction of Jesuits, though seconded by James, were opposed 
by his governour, who said that the opposition of the Five Nations to 
Canada was the safeguard of New York. This opposition was one 
cause for Dongan's removal, though undoubtedly the principal was 
the desire to make New York and all Upper Canada one govern- 

To return to the year 1683. Soon after the arrival of Governour 
Dongan, he summoned the general assembly and made known the 
duke's instructions for the gratification of the people. During the 
session, many important enactments were promulgated-! 

On the 28lh of November, the Governours of New York and 

Albany Records. t See Wood. t See Appendix N. 


Connecticut settled the boundary line, confining the latter province 
to the east of Byram River, and of a line twenty miles eastward of 
the Hudson.* 

The transactions of Governour Dongan with the Iroquois, and in 
opposition to the French of Canada, were of scarcely less import- 
ance than the pacification of the people of his province, by the es- 
tablishment of representation. 

I have already mentioned the erection of forts, intended by the 
French to protect them from the Iroquois. Among these, under 
pretence of a post for trading, M. de Courcelles obtained permis- 
sion from the chiefs of the confederacy to build a fort on their avowed' 
territories, at Cadaraqui, or Lake Ontario ; which Count Frontignac 
afterwards completed and called Fort Frontignac. This was on 
the northwestern bank of the St. Lawrence, where the river receives 
the waters of the lake. In 1678, M. De la Salle rebuilt it of stone, 
and it had four bastions : its circumference was a quarter of a 
French league ; in front were several small islands, a harbour, and 
behind it a morass. 

The French introduced their missionaries wherever and when- 
ever they could among the Iroquois, and notwithstanding that ex- 
press orders were obtained from .lames to Dongan, the governour 
found it necessary to counteract them as much as possible. At a 
council he held with the Indians, he complained of these priests a& 
disturbers of the peace and the instigators of murder. He spoke to 
the Iroquois with the w^ords and in the tone of a master, and forbade 
them to entertain the Jesuits and others sent by the French : but 
the Iroquois were far from acknowledging his or any European au- 
1684 Lord Effingham, Governour of Virginia, travelled four 
hundred miles to treat with the Indians ; and on the 13th of 
July, 1684, eight sachems of the Mohawks, three of the Oneidas, 
three of the Onondagas, and three of the Cayugas, met his lordship at 
Albany, the Governour of New York and the magistrates of Albany 
being present. C olden gives the speeches on this occasion at 
length. Lord Effingham, reproached the Iroquois with breach 
of promise, inasmuch as they had attacked his Indians and 
the Virginia settlers. He attributes to the influence of Governour 
Dongan the withholding of his vengeance and his not destroying their 
whole combined nations. The phrase of laughing in one's sleeve, 
will not apply to an Indian ; but 1 do not doubt that in private they 
turned into ridicule the " big words" of his lordship. The Mo- 
hawks, however, thought fit to exonerate themselves and cast tlie 
blame upon the other tribes. They never had broken their en- 

'* See Appendix O. 


gagcments ; they would always be obedient to Corlear, the Gov- 
ernour of New York. 

So said the interpreter : but I doubt if the INIohawks ever thanked, 
in earnest, the Governour of \'irginia for forgiving their transgres- 
sions. However, hatchets were buried for the Oneidas, Onon- 
dagas, and Cayugas. The Mohawks say that they bury none, as 
they had never hrolccii tlic chain. Dongan had gained the affection 
of the Iroquois, and he artfully procured their consent to his putting 
the Duke of York's arms upon the castles. He meant this as a 
mark of submission ; they considered it as a kind of charm against 
French power. The French Jesuits had prevailed upon a portion 
of the Loquois to be what they called converts to Christianity. 
These had separated from the Iroquois and congregated under the 
protection of Canada, opposite to iNIontreal, under the title of 
" praying Indians," or Caiiifliiiaicd gluts. The Governour of New 
York requested the Iroquois to. call these stragglers home. The 
sachems desired Dongan, as he was in friendship with Canada, to 
call upon the Caughnawaghas to rejoin their proper tribes. In the 
course of these speeches, the interpreter makes the Iroquois ack- 
nowledge themselves subject to New York. Now, the Indians 
always declared that they were independent. Each man felt, 
though united to his tribe and to the confederacy, " I am myself 
alone !" An Iroquois orator had said to Dongan's deputy, "He 
that made the world, gave me the earth I occupy. I respect both 
the French and English ; but no one has a right to command me !" 
Deputies from the iSenecas arrived before the speech making was 
over, and joined with the others in talks and treaties. They agree 
to stay away from Virginia, for Corleai'^s sake. 

While these conferences were going on at Albany, ?^ message 
arrived from ]\I. De la Barre, the present Governour of Canada, 
complaining that the Iroquois carried on a series of hostilities 
against the Miamies and other western Indians, in alhance with the 
French. Dongan communicated this message to the Iroquois, and 
they retorted by saying that the French Indians interfered with their 
hunters ; that the French supplied the Miamies and others with 
powder ; and acknowledged that the Iroquois hunters took the 
powder from the French traders. " Onondio calls us children," 
they said, " and at the same time sends ammunition to our ene- 
mies to kill us." 
1685 M. De la Barre, however, did not confine himself to 
complaints. He, at two successive applications to the 
court, obtained 900 soldiers from France. He projected an expedi- 
tion which should take vengeance on the Iroquois, if not destroy 
them. Letters were procured from the Duke of York, command- 
ing Dongan not to oppose the intention of the French general, 
which was to fall on the Senecas first, and by his spies, the priests, 

VOL. 1. 18 


tb p^l-suade the Oneidas and other tribes to remahi neiitral' is 
friends. His spies informed him that Indians would stand by eadh 
Other in union, if he approached with an army ; and further, that 
Dongan had promised to support them. Charlevoix says that the 
Governour of New York had disgusted the Iroquois by talking to 
them as if they were English subjects, and had been told that 
Ononthio was the Iroquois' father, and Corlear their brother, but they 
had no master. De la Barre had marched with seventeen hundred 
men, French, Canadians, and Indians, and every warhke equip- 
ment to fort Frontignac, where he was to be joined by the Indians 
of Michilimackinac and their friends, with an overwhelming force. 
He delayed to no purpose, or worse, for he exhausted his provi- 
sion and his allies failed him. He crossed to the south side of the 
entrance of the lake, near the present Sackett's harbour, but long 
called Port Famine, from the distress of the French army. Sick- 
ness had attacked them on the north side of the St. Lawrence, 
and starvation was added to it on the south borders. Don- 
gan had given notice to the Iroquois of De la Barre's approach, 
and they were on the alert. The French governour found it 
necessary, instead of proceeding to the Indians, to call upon them 
tb ^end deputies to a friendly treaty. Dongan endeavoured to pre- 
vent this ; and, accordingly, the Mohawks and Senecas refused to 
meet the French general : but the other tribes, among whom Je- 
suits and priests had been received, persuaded the Oneidas, Onon- 
dagas, and Cayugas to send some of their chiefs to council. They 
accordingly came to the French camp, and satv its distress. But 
©e la Barre addressed the deputies as if he was in force and equal 
to their destruction. He told them that the king had sent him to 
smoke the pipe of peace with the Five Nations, provided they would 
give entire satisfaction and reparation for the injuries done his sub- 
jects, and promise for' the future never to molest them ; that they, 
(the Iroquois,) had robbed and abused the king's children, the Illi- 
nois, the Miamies, and the French traders, and he came to demand 
satisfaction : if denied, he was ordered to declare war. He enu- 
merated the injuries inflicted on the king's children, demanding 
that the prisoners taken from the French Indians shduld be sent 
baclt, or he threatens vengeance. He addressed himself particu- 
l^fly^toan Onondaga chief, venerable from age, and wise from obser- 
vation, who understood the design on which De la Barre had come, 
and the cause of his proposing peace instead of wreaking intended 
desthiction. He had seen the distress of the French army, and 
answered the general in a tone of sarcasm and contempt. 

It is not often I shall intrude an Indian talk in my pages, but 
this as given by Golden, and copied by William Smidi,* is too good 

' History of New York. Vol. i. p. 73, etc. 


to-be omilted : — " Yonnondio, you must have believed, wlien yow 
left Quebec, that the sun had burnt up all the forests, which render 
our country inaccessible to the French, or that die lakes had so 
far overflown the banks, that they had surrounded our casdes, and 
that it was impossible for us to get out of them. Yes, Yonnondio, 
surely you must have dreamt so, and the curiosity of seeing so great 
a wonder has brought you so far. Now you are undeceived, since 
that I and the warriours here present, are come to assure you, that 
the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, and Mohawks, are yet 
ahve. I thank you, hi their name, for bringing b.ack into their 
country the calumet which your predecessors received from tlieif 
hands. It was happy for you, that you left under ground that nj.ur- 
dering hatchet that has been so often dyed in the .blood .of .the 
French. Hear, Yonnondio, I do not sleep, I have my eyes open, 
and the sun, which enlightens me, discovers to me a great captain 
at the head of a company of soldiers, who speaks as if he were 
dcearaing. He says that he only came to the lake to smoke on the 
great calumet widi the Onondagas. But Garrangula says, that he 
sees the contrary, that he was to knock them on the head, if sick- 
ness had not weakened the arms of the French. 

" I see Yonnondio raving in a camp of sick men, whose lives 
the Great Spirit has saved by inflicting this sickness on them. Hear, 
Yonnondio ; our women had taken their clubs, our children and old 
men had carried their bows and arrows into the heart of your camp, 
if our warriours had not disarmed them, and kept them back, when 
your messenger, Ohguesse, came to our castles. It is done, and 
I have said it. Hear, Yonnondio, we plundered none of the French, 
but those that carried guns, powder, and ball to the Twightwies 
and Chi.ctaghicks, because those arms might have cost us our lives. 
Herein \ye follow the example of the Jesuits, who stave all the kegs 
of rum brought to our castles, lest the drunken Indians should 
knock them on the head. Our warriours have not beaver enough 
to pay for all these arms that they have taken, and our old men are 
not afraid of the war. This belt preserves my words. 

"We carried the English into our lakes to trade there with the 
Utawawas and Quatoghies, as the Adirondacks brought the French 
to our casdes, to carry on the trade, which the English say is 
theirs. We are born free ; we neither depend on Yonnondio nor 

" We may go where we please, and carry with us whom we 
please, and buy and sell what we please : if your allies be your 
slaves, use them as such, command them to receive no other bu)t 
your people. This belt preserves my words. 

" We knocked the Twightwies and Chictaghicks on the head, 
because they had cut down the trees of peace, which were the limits 
pf pur country. They have hunted the beavers on our lands ; the^ 



have acted contrary to the customs of all Indians ; for they left 
none of the beavers alive, they killed both male and female. They 
brought the Satanas* into the country to take part with them, after 
they had concerted ill designs against us. We have done less 
than either the English or French, that have usurped the lands of so 
many Indian nations, and chased them from their own country. 
This belt preserves my words. 

"Hear, Yonnondio, what I say is the voice of all the Five Na- 
tions. Hear what they answer — open your ears to what they speak, 
^The Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas and Mohawks say, 
that when they buried the hatchet of Cadaracqui, (in the presence 
of your predecessor,) in the middle of fhe fort, they planted the tree 
of peace in the same place, to be there carefully preserved, that, 
in place of a retreat for soldiers, that fort might be a rendezvous for 
merchants ; that in place of arms and ammunition of war, beavers 
and merchandize should only enter there. 

" Hear, Yonnondio, take care for the future, that so great a num- 
ber of soldiers as appear there do not choke the tree of peace 
planted in so small a fort. It will be a great loss, if, after it had so 
easily taken root, you should stop its growth and prevent its cover- 
ing your country and ours with its branches. I assure you, in the 
name of the Five Nations, that our warriours shall dance to the 
calumet of peace under its leaves, and shall remain quiet on their 
mats, and shall never dig up the hatchet till their brother Yonnon- 
dio, or Corlear, shall either jointly or separately endeavour to attack 
the country wliich the Great Spirit has given to our ancestors. 
This belt preserves my words, and this other, the authority which 
the Five Nations has given me." 

The old chief then addressed the French Interpreter, telling him 
not to be afraid to explain his words : and, giving him a beaver as 
a present to Yotinojidio, he invited him to feast with him. 

Discomfitted even in words, the French general led back the 
remnant of his starving army to Montreal : ending an expensive 
and disastrous campaign, as Golden observes, in a scold with an 
old Indian. 

' The Jesuit Missionary who remained as a spy upon the Iroquois, 
sent word to M. De la Barre, that the Senecas, apprehensive that 
the French would fall upon their castles, had remained at home all 
the last winter, but still refused to restore the spoil or prisoners 
they had taken ; that the Miamie's had insulted and killed several 
of the Senacas, relying upon su])port from Ganada : and that the 
Iroquois generally were preparing for war, and had been supplied 
with arms and annnunition by the English of New York. 

By the French called Sauoiuious. 


But this summer De la Barrc was superceded by the Marquis 
de Nonville, who arrived with a re-inlbrcement of troops. He 
proceeded to fort Frontignac to be near and observe the Iroquois ; 
and the resuh of his intelHgence from the spies was, that he must 
chastise the offenders. He wrote to the king that the colony was 
in a deplorable condition, that the Indians wlio mingled with the 
French, did not become French ; but the Frenchmen who mingled 
with the Indians became altogether savages. He proposed erecting 
a stone fort at Niagara, for at least 700 men, to exclude the English 
from the Lakes, and aid in subduing the Five Nations, by thus hav- 
ing a garrison at each end of Lake Ontario. By these strong 
places in the midst of the country of the Iroquois, fort Gadaraqui, 
or Frontignac, commanding the lower pass, and fort Niagara the 
upper, he thought to prevent the Indians from carrying their peltry 
to the traders of New York, and the conmiand of the Lake be 

1686 On the 26th of May, 16S6, Governour Dongan wrote 
to De Nonville, from New York, saying, the Five Nations 
were convinced by the accumulation of stores and proyisions at 
Gadaraqui, that an expedition against tliem was intended ; and as 
these people were subjects of England, an attack upon them would 
he considered as an infraction of the peace between France and 
Great Britain. The Governour of New York further expressed 
his astonishment, that the French should think of building a fort 
at Niagara, a place within the territory of New York. 

The noble marquis, according to Gharlevoix, jesuitically denied 
the intended expedition against the Iroquois, in his answer. He 
said, these Indians were fearful, as they knew that they deserved 
chastisement ; that the stores carried to Gadaraqui were necessary 
to that post ; that ill-disposed persons gave Dongan false intelli- 
gence ; and as to the sovereignty over the country, France had 
taken possession of it before the English arrived at New York ; 
the kings, their masters, were at peace, and it was not for the lieu- 
tenants to disturb them. 

Dongan was not deceived by the professions of De Nonville ; 
but, in a council at Albany, advised the Iroquois to be prepared, 
and to have the first blow, by striking the French and their allies, 
the Miamies, and other tribes. He likewise endeavoured to draw 
the Gaughnawahgas from Ganada by offering them lands, and pro- 
mising to protect them in their religion, as his master was a good 
Gatholick. The Iroquois attacked the Illinois and Miamies as 
advised ; and the French missionaries informed De Nonville 
of all Dongan's movements and those of the Indians. 

This information, and a visit from the missionary, determined 
the marquis to hasten his grand expedition : and, in the meantime, 


his scoutino; party intercepted tiie English traders, seized their 
goods, and im})risoned them. This was contrary to the treaty betweep 
France and England, in which it was stipulated that the Indian 
trade in America should be free to both nations. Of this Dongan 
complained loudly, as if his aggressions by means of Indians 
claimed as English subjects, were not equally infractions of the 

peace and treaty. 
1687 The plan of the Marquis de Nonville was to destroy the 
Senecas first ; for this purpose, he threw troops into Cada- 
raqui, and at tlie same time advanced a detachment up the Sorel 
to hold the Mohawks in check. But, in obedience to the orders of 
the most Christian king, to diminish the numbers of the Iroquois 
by every means, two villages that wei-e within a few leagues of Lake 
Ontario were surprised while in perfect security, and the inhabitants 
carried off by a body of three hundred Canadians. These people 
were, in part, doomed to the torments of the stake, and die remain- 
der, to prevent intelligence of the movements of the French, and! 
in obedience to the express orders of Louis le Grand, were sent 
to France for his majesty's gallies.* 

Further to blind the Iroquois, the Marquis sent back the mis- 
sionary (who had visited him with intelligence,) to the Onondagas 
with assurances of friendship and presents in token of good will. 
He found them prepared for war by the messengers of Dongan, 
who had taken advantage of his absence, to put them on their guard 
against the French. But, says Charlevoix, " the missionary soon 
changed the face of affairs." The Onondagas were quieted ajid pre- 
pared by the Jesuit spy to become the victims of the sword and the 
king's gallies. 

This business being accomplished to his mind, the priest returned 
to De Nonville for further instructions, leaving his brother at Onon- 
daga. The principal emissary was sent back with directions to 
entice the chiefs of the Iroquois to a pretended friendly council at 
G^daraqui, and to send his brother to Canada to be in safety when 
the hostile designs of the marquis should be apparent. 

The professions of the Governour of Canada, made through his 
spy, the missionary, and the presents which were always given to 
the Indians, enticed a number of die chiefs of the Five Na- 
tions to the fort at Cadaraqui, where they were seized, sent in 
chains to Quebec, and embai'ked for France, to become galley 

The designs of De Nonville could no longer be concealed. 
This last act of treachery made die Iroquois irreconcileable foes to 
all Frenchmen. The secondary missionary had remained too long 

Hist, of New France. 

DE nonville's expedition. 1^3 

at Onondaga: he Mas secured and doomed to llic torture. Bound 
to tlie stake, the priest had ahcady felt the flames and the knife, 
when a woman, who had probably experienced those doctrines he 
professed, and prompted by those feelings of tlie sex which are 
recorded by Ledyard as existing in Africa, and by Captain John 
Smith, in the Pocohontas of Virginia, interceded for him and he was 

Lamberville, the priest who had been the instrument of De Non- 
ville in sending the chiefs and others to the trap prepared for their 
destruction at Cadaraqui, was still found at. Onondaga and brought 
before a council of their wise men. A chief thus addressed hini : 
" We have cause to treat you as an enemy ; but we cannot resolve 
to do it. We are willing to believe that you were deceived, and 
were not a party in the treachery of your countrymen. We are 
willing to believe you innocent, and that you detest the treason of 
which you have been made the instrument. However, it is best 
that you depart from among us. When our young men have sung 
their war song, some among them may look ujion you as a traitor, 
and we may not be able to restrain them. Go ! we will send 
guides to see you in safety to your friends." Such was the 
contrast between the savage and the civilized man, on this occa- 

At length the preparations of the Governour-general of Canada 
seem to have been completed. The Chevalier De Tonti had 
been senf among the Illinois to lead them down on the south side 
of Lake Erie to the neighbourhood of the Senecas, that being ready 
to co-operate with the army frem Canada, they might cut off the' 
retreat of the women and children. M. De Luth was ordered to 
entrench himself near Detroit, and collect the Indians of that quarter, 
who were enemies to the Iroquois, and had suffered from them. 
M. Durantaye was ordered to collect the Indians of Michilimacki- 
nac, and to march to Niagara. 

On the 11th of June, the French army moved from Montreal 
and its neighbourhood, in batteaux and canoes. Of the king's 
troops, there were 832. Those who have seen the discipline, the 
uniform, the equipments of the French officers and soldiers of the 
old regime : the brilliaiU white and gold, the nodding plumes, the 
flaunting colours, and the seducing nm.sicof the military band, may 
form some idea of this dazzling parade as it passed through the 
untamed wilderness, or over the bosom of solitary rivers and s^a- 
like lakes. 

One thousand Canadians, as rangers, and 300 Indians, accompa- 
nied this main body, besides the usual array of attendants and camp 

From Cadaraqui the army entered Lake Ontario the 23d of 
Juno, and, in two divisions, [)assed up the north and south sides of 

144 DE nonville's expedition. 

tills vvood-eiiclosed sea. The whole landed at Tyrondequai,' and 
forming in battle array, marched in all the pride of irresistible power 
to crush the 8eneca nation. In front was the main body of Euro- 
pean soldiers, accompanied by the Canadian rangers : the Indians 
and camp followers brought up the rear. 

All was silence on the part of the Senecas, and the French, 
imagining that the warriours had fled, pushed on to overtake the fu- 
tives or their women and children. But suddenly from the trees 
and bushes, the thickets and high grass on either side of the gallant 
host, a deadly fire was poured from an invisible enemy ; but before 
the first confusion of surprise was past, the war-whoop arose on all 
sides. The front and rear were instantly charged by the Iroquois. 
The order of march was broken ; the battalions sought the cover 
of the woods, and fired on each other. This blind discomfiture was 
only remedied by the rangers and Indians of the French, who met 
the Senecas in their own mode and caused them to retreat. When 
order was restored, the marquis was so much discouraged by this 
reception, that \\e advanced no further that day. 

This gave the Iroquois time to burn their village and remove 
what they deemed most precious. The army marched into a scene 
of desolation, but found two old men, who were delivered over to 
their allies. 

After destroying the corn of the neighbourhood, the mar- 
quis led his troops back to the banks of the lake, erected a 
fort, with four bastions, on the south-east side of the straits of 
Niagara, where he left 100 men, with eight months' provisions, 
to be blocked up by the Iroquois, and finally, all but eight, to 
perish by famine. 

Soon after this fruitless and disgraceful expedition of De Non- 
ville, a council of the Five Nations met Governor Dongan at Albany. 
He told them that the losses of the Senecas were entirely owing to 
their making treaties with the French without his consent, and not 
avowing themselves for England ; for if the French considered them 
as such, they would not dare to invade them. He spoke to them 
as English subjects, and tried to persuade them that their safety 
could only be assured by their acknowledging the King of Eng- 
land as their master. He advised them, as they were at war with 
Canada, not to kill any of the French who might fall into their 
hands, but to keep them for exchanges to release their own people. 
He advised them to make peace with the western Indians, and 
thereby weaken their French enemy, and, for the same purpose, to 
call home the Caughnawaghas ; but, if they would not come, he hints 
that the Iroquois Aiiow what to do with them. He wishes them to 
assign a place on Lake Ontario, where he may build a fort at which 
he may keep stores — evidently pointing to Oswego. He points out 
a' way to secure their corn from iheir enemies, by burying it in the 


woods far from their villages. He tells them that the French priests 
were spies upon them and him, and congratulates them upon having 
dismissed such inmates, at the same time offering to send missiona- 
ries for their instruction. He reminds the Iroquois that the French 
now have forts at " Oniagara," Cadaraqui, Trois Rivieres, and 
Montreal, and required them to guard against the frontier fort- 

Charlevoix says that Dongan threatened De Nonville that he 
would openly support the Iroquois, if the Governour of Canada 
attacked them : but the marquis laughed at the threat. He sent 
Mohawks, gained to his views — probably Caughnawahgas — 
among the Iroquois, and by liis arts kept them from committing 
hostihties for a time. Chambly was, however, soon after beset, 
several houses burnt, and captives carried to Albany. The 
Onondagas surprised some of the garrison of Fort Frontignac, or 
Cadaraqui, and avowedly kept them to exchange for the warriours 
sent to the French gallies. The Jesuits tried to persuade the In- 
dians that their friends were not sent to the gallies, but were still at 
Quebec, though they knew the contrary, and in token of friend- 
ship, presented them with two belts of wampum. These, however, 
were sent to New York, and Dongan wrote to De Nonville for an 
explanation. He pretended he did not know, and sent a priest to 
New York as a spy, with orders to return home by the way of 
the Mohawk country : but he was sent back to Canada by another 

1688 This spy-priest was the Pcre VaiUant, who came here 

early in 1688. By him Dongan informed De Nonville 
that the only terms on which the Five Nations would make peace 
with France, was the return of the chiefs, treacherously seized and 
sent to the galleys ; the demolition of forts Cadaraqui and Niagara ; 
satisfaction to the Senecas for their losses ; and giving up the 
Caughnawahgas that they might be again received by the tribes 
they belonged to. 

James II counteracted the efforts of Dongan for the good of his 
province, and ordered hin> to prevent the Iroquois from attending 
a council in Canada, to hear the proposals of De Nonville for a 
peace. Accordingly, a cessation of arms was agreed upon, and an 
exchange of prisoners. Twelve hundred of the Iroquois attended 
the council at JMontreal. When this army of deputies arrived at 
Cadaraqui they demanded an officer to conduct them to Montreal, 
and the commandant sent his lieutenant, who, upon embarking, 
found himself in the midst of a host of Indians. At Montreal, De 
Nonvdlle met them. The orator of the Iroquois told the governour 
that the confederates were in condition to exterminate the French, 
or drive them into the sea. " But I," he said, " have obtained 
permission to give you warning, that you may avoid this vengeance 
VOL I. 19 


by accepting the terms of peace offered by Corlcar. I give you 
four days to resolve." 

This speech, says Charlevoix, and 1,200 Iroquois ready to fall 
upon Montreal, threw the Canadians into consternation. DeNon- 
ville proposed peace, if the Indians in his alliance should be 
included and suffered to supply Cadaraqui with provisions. 
Niagara he agreed to abandon. These terms were accepted, 
and he wrote home to solicit the return of the Indian galley 

While these negotiations were going on, a chief of the Michil- 
mackinacks contrived to enrage the Iroquois by seizing some of 
their ambassadors, and pretending that he did it by order of De 
Nonville. The consequence was, that in July a large body of Iro- 
quois fell upon the Island of Montreal when the habitans were in 
perfect security, murdered men, women, and children, destroying 
every thing to the very gates of die fort. They slew one thousand 
persons, and carried off twenty-seven prisoners, who were burnt 

Never was Canada so weak. The French colonists had 
assimilated themselves to the Indians around them, and becoming 
Coureiirs de Bois, married squaws, and their children became 

The Iroquois, flushed with success, and enraged at the real and 
supposed indignities offered them, again, in the following autumn, 
laid waste the lower part of the Island of Montreal, and seemed 
only to lack in knowledge of the art of attacking fortified places, to 
effect the overthrow of the French in Canada. 

In the mean time, Dongan was recalled by James, and De Non- 
ville departed for France, fully persuaded that the only way to sub- 
ject or destroy the Iroquois was by the conquest of New York. 
Charlevoix says, that he stated that Andros, the successor of Don- 
gan, not being a papist, would be more inimical than his predeces- 
sor. He said l,oOO French soldiers, and 300 Canadians, led by 
himself, would pass by the Sorel and Lake Champlain under pre- 
tence of attacking the Iroquois ; but to them he would profess 
friendship, but enmity to the English. Albany, he said, had only 
a defence of pahsades and a small fort of four bastions, defended 
by 500 soldiers, (an estimate far too great,) and 300 inhabitants, 
(meaning, I suppose, fit to bear arms.) New York was represented 
as having a force of eight companies, half horse and half foot; the 
town not enclosed, and with a fort of four bastions, mounted with 
cannon. This port taken, would give his master the best situation 
in America. The inhabitants, he said, were principally Dutch, 
conquered by the English, who would join with the Prince of 
Orange, and revolt from James 11. 


The Court of France approved the marquis's plans, and ap- 
pointed Count Frontignac to put them in execution.* 

* It is calculated that 500,000 Huguenots escaped from their butchers and 
executioners, to enrich other countries by tliei^' virtue and industry. In America, 
South Carolina is supposed to have had mon; than any other colony, but IS'ew York 
was enriched by the Jays, and thousands of" her best citizens. 

In the year 1686, James II, and his friend Jetfries, enriched Maryland by the vic- 
tims of Monmouth's rebellion, who were not hanged. James fixed their price at not 
less than £10, and prohibited their being set at liberty until they had served out 
the time for which they were condemned to .slavery — at least ten years. James re- 
joiced that hundreds were hanged, and that hundreds would be sold to fill his cof- 
fers. But James and Jeffries had a rival in the Mayor of Bristol, who made n trade 
ofconvicting the accused, that he migiit sell them to the plantations. This, Jeffries 
would not permit. Kidnapping, too, was another source of population for the 

colonies, and Bristol had a full share in tliii- trade. 
1684 In July, the Governours of Virginia and New York met the agent of Mas- 
sachusetts at Albany, and held council with the Iroquois. New York became 
the bond of New England and Virginia. / 

"After the fort was built by the Dutch," says Mr. Abeel, "persons who came 
over from Holland to settle in America, for the purpose of trading with the natives 
for furs, etc. and who could not reside in the fort, built houses under the waljs of 

the fort, and formed the first street, which they called Pearl street." ^ 

1686 The city had extended to a number of .streets. The following sixteen are 
mentioned : — Pearl, Broadway, High street. Low street, Brewer^ s street, 
Prince's, Exchange, Static, King, New, Beaver, Markctrclt, Bridge, Broad, Smith, 
Queen, or Smith's-oly. The members of the Dutch church, in 1680, were 354 
adults, and 702 children." 

" We are'inforraed" says the same MSS., " that the Dutch, in imitation of what 
was done in Holland, built dykes in Broad street, nearly as far up as the City Hall," or 
where the Custom House is now, (1839) erecting. "The posts were found standing 
about ten or twelve feet from the houses on each side of the sti-eet, not long ago," (that 
is, when Mr. Abeel wrote) " when the street was new paved." Mr. Abeel speaks 
of the city as he saw it in 1744. The wall, or rather palisades, from "the North 
River, near Trinity church," extended along Wall street to the East River. " In 
1744, it had palisades, with block houses, surrounding it from river to river ; from 
near the air-furnace to the ship yards, at the edge of what was called the meadows 
on the west side. Not long before this, the water out of the Fresh-water Pond, 
now called Kollic," at the time he wrote, " ran down to both rivers, frequently 
increased so wide as to require logs to be laid across to walli over." 



^Fht bigotry of James — Favours the French vieivs, religions and 
political — Doctrines of Rome in opposition to self-government — - 
Success of James in hitroducing these doctrines — Alarm and resist- 
ance in Enorland: in New York — Jacob Leisler raises the standard 
of William III — Opposition made by the officers of James — Con- 
vention ofAlhcmy — Bayard — Von Cortlandt — Phillipse — Schuy- 
ler — Letter from England, authorizing the present ruler to govern 
till further orders — Leisler, Lieutenant- Governour — Robert Liv- 
ingston— Leisler'' s proceedings — Bayard^ s petition. 

1685 James II, succeeded his brother Charles, in 1 685. The 
people of New York rejoiced in the change ; but soon found 

that as king, he had forgot, or violated with impunity, that which as 
Puke, James pledged himself to perform. Under the titles of York 
and Albany, he had promised the people of his province a constitu- 
tion ; but, jesuitically might think or profess, that the king was 

1686 not bound by the promises of the subject. He invested Don- 
gan with a new commission, by which, (with his Council, and 

the governpur's council were his friends, favourites, or creatures,) 
he might enact laws and impose taxes. The governour was ex- 
pressly enjoined to suffer no printing-press, (the dread of tyrants,) 
to be put up. There has always existed, as if by instinct, in the 
breasts of the usui'pers upon the rights of man, a fear that he should 
be instructed. 

The bigotry of James was such, that he gave facility to the poli- 
tical views of the French, by his orders to Dongan. Among the 
other modes of introducing popery into the province, which was 
the aim and wish of James, he ordered Governour Dongan to favour 
the introducdon of priests and Jesuits among the Iroquois : but the 
governour, akhough himself a papist, and willing to aid in bringing 
.over the colonists to the religion of himself and master, was too 
prudent, as a politician, not to see that the intention of the French 
.was to gain the Five Nations from the English interest, by pushing 
their emissaries among them, under pretence of propagating the 
Christian religion. Dongan saw that the Jesuits acted as spies for 
the governours of Canada, and counteracted the efforts of the Eng- 
lish to introduce and increase the trade of the province he governed, 
as well as to overcome, in the Iroquois, that jealousy of France, 
which made them a frontier rampart to New York in time of war. 


Tliough active in otherwise promoting the king's rcHgioiis views, 
he had too much good sense to be bhnded, whatever his master 
might be, by the pretence, which only covered (in the eyes of the 
bigot king,) the designs of France for the extension of her domin- 
ions. The governour insisted that the French shouhl not hold 
conferences, under the pretence of making treaties, with tiie Iro- 
quois, without his intervention ; and in this persisted, ahhough his 
conduct was offensive to these proud confederated republicans, who 
declared with manly dignity, that they were free to negociate with 
whom they pleased, without consulting either French or English. 

The Iroquois were, however, attached to the inhabitants of New 
York — an attachment commenced with the Dutch — besides, they 
never forgave the alliance of Champlain with their enemies, nor the 
treacherous seizure of their sachems by order of Louis XIV. 
They likewise considered the supplies of arms, ammunition, and 
necessaries which the French of Canada carried to the ancient ene- 
mies of the Five Nations, as injurious and amounting to acts of 

The governour of Canada prepared to chastise this in- 
1688 terference of Dongan, who solicited permission to sup- 
port the Iroquois in their hostile demonstrations towards 
Canada. But the French Government at home had sufficient 
influence with James, to counteract the prudent measures of the 
governour of New York. They concluded a treaty of neutrality, 
by which neither England nor France was to assist such Indians, 
as were at war with the other. 

These successful negotiations of France, with the continued 
preparations of the government of Canada, under Frontignac, all 
served in the sequel, to inflict those misfortunes on New York, 
which were attributed to Jacob Leisler. 

Dongan did not give up the point, but continued his exertions 
among the Iroquois, whose alliance he saw was so necessary to 
Ne\\^ York. This, with his continuing in other respects, not to 
press the arbitrary measures of James, caused the king to add New 
York, to the other dominions already entrusted to the more com- 
pliant, or more tyrannic disposition of Sir Edmund Andros, and 
thus to supercede Dongan, at a time when the discontents of the 
people, and their fears of popery were ready to break forth in Eng 
land, to the overthrow of James ; and in America, to the suspen- 
sion of both his governours, and annihilation of his government. 

The genius of popery is well known to be altogether favourable 
to kingly power; and, of course, ever in opposition to civil liberty. 
Submission without consideration, or any reference to reason, is 
the doctrine of Rome. Obedience to the dictates of reason, was a 
creed early introduced into America, and remains the safeguard of 
her prosperity. 


I am aware that at the present Jay, the fears entertahied of popery 
by the people in 16SS, and the actions of Leisler and his friends in 
consequence of these apprehensions will appear, the ^^^s^ unfounded, 
and the second disproportioned to the alleged cause ; but the Smith- 
field burnings of Good Queen Mary, the massacre of St. Barthole- 
mewon the 24:th August, 1572, and revocation of the Edict of JXantz 
in 1685, were all at that time comparatively recent events. The 
Huguenots, who fled to Holland, after the bloody and complicated 
treachery and murder performed by the papists under Charles 
IX, had remained among their Dutch brethren until many of their 
descendants had become in language and manners, assimilated to 
the Hollanders, and emigrated to this country more Dutch than 
French. Such were the Duryes, Cortelyous, Mercereaus and 
many others, while the refugees from the Dragoonades of Louis le 
Gra?iJ, the Jays, Aimars, Guyons, De Lancys, Goclets, Go- 
verneurs, Hamerslys and others, had yet scarcely found them- 
selves in safety from papistical persecution ; but when we look 
back to the History of England, without going to that of other 
countries, we see the evils that men had to dread from the intro- 
duction of a system, which had destroyed, not only religious, but 
civil liberty ; and inflicted miseries to which mankind now cannot 
be subjected. We must remember that James II, of England, 
(whose servant Dongan was, and who was appointed by James be- 
cause as a Roman Catholick, he was supposed to be bound to second 
his views,) had evinced his determination to make the popish reli- 
gion, and the tyranny congenial to it, the governing principles of 
all his dominions. We are to remember the influence which the 
ruler of a kingdom or a province — the dispenser of honours and 
riches — possesses over men generally, and particularly over the 
ambitious, who form his court ; those who, already possessed of 
riches, the more eagerly thirsted for more ; and forming, what they 
consider the first rank of society, are the more desirous to exclude 
others from the benefits they enjoy ; such men for offices of trust 
and power, will, more or less (from motives of interest, or the love 
of dominion, or desire for distinction,) conform to the views, 
whether political or religious, of the persons who dispense these 

It is well known, that James endeavoured to make every insti- 
tution bend to his arbitrary will, and to his intention of making the 
religion of Rome predominant, within his territories. He exercised 
what is called the dispensing 'power, to establish, contrary to exist- 
ing laws, papists in ofiices of trust ; by which many men were 
induced to adopt, or profess, the creed which led to preferment. 

JIume* says, "the whole power of Ireland, was committed to Ca- 

History of England, Cha. 70. 


tholicks." The king entrusted the government of Scotland chiefly to 
converts from the Protestant to the Roman Cathohck rehgion. He 
dismissed from their employments even his brothers-in-law, Ro- 
chester and Clarendon, because they adhered to protestantism. The 
doors of the church and the universities were attempted to be thrown 
open to papists. The king assumed the power at will of dispens- 
ins: with the tests, which had been established to exclude men from 
office, who professed the faith of Rome, and among other promo- 
tions of persons of that creed, he brought four Lords, Powis, Arun- 
del, Bellasis and Dover, into his privy council. 

This promotion of Romanists on one hand, and exclusion of 
Protestants on the other, without doubt, induced those who had no 
religion, to profess the creed which was profitable ; and others 
would follow in their train, to swell the power of tyranny. By 
this, I do not mean to assert that all who resisted James in Eng- 
land, or took part with Leisler in New York, did so from religious, 
or even honest motives ; and far be it from us now at this distance 
of time to impugn the motives of Schuyler, the worthy Mayor 
of Albany, and others, who might consider it their duty to oppose the 
government of Leisler, although confided to him by the people of 
New York, until the final determination of William III should be 

Although the university of Oxford was bound by oath not to 
elect any officer of the faith of Rome, yet James expelled the 
Fellows of Magdalen College, for refusing to elect a popish pre- 
sident of his appointing. And when we know that Sir E. Hayes, 
and Lord Sunderland, with the Scotch Earls of IMurray, Perth, and 
Melfort, did change their religion, (or profession) to accomodate 
themselves to the views of the king, and that many inferiours 
did follow their example, shall we suppose that Dongan, James's 
servant, had less influence over the Phillipses, the Courtlandts, the 
Bayards, and other aspiring men of the province of New York .'' 

We know that contrary to laic, the chief officer of the customs, 
and many others in office were avowed papists, (not to mention Don- 
gan himself) and that the known intention of James, was, to intro- 
duce that religion. We likewise know that the governour of New 
York, was more likely to accomplish these views than his master,- 
as being more prudent, and having adopted means more likely to" 
succeed ; and we know the dread which both Dutch and English 
at that time, if not biassed by private and selfish views, had of the 
introduction of the faith and dominion of popery ; and that they 
who were not of consequence enough to be purchased by office, 
money, or titles, and received into court favour, must sufier all the 
evils of slavery and persecution. The gentiy, the people of figure,- 

152 Nicholson's administration. 

as they were then termed, were either ah-eady in office, or in the 
way of promotion. James had recalled the Charters of the colo- 
nies ; sent out governours with absolute power ; and refused by 
himself or servants to permit a printing press to be introduced, 
and had decreed that the Jews should not exercise their reli- 
gion in public. Dissatisfaction and jealousy prevailed throughout 
among the people. The collector of the revenues and several prin- 
cipal officers threw off the mask, and openly avowed their attach- 
ment to the church of Rome. The people of Long Island were 
disappointed by a failure in performance of promises made by 
Dongan, which added to their discontent with his measures ge- 
nerally, and to their fears for the protestant religion. 
1689 In this state of alarm for their civil and religious liberties 
were the inhabitants of the province of New York, when 
the news reached them of the movements in England, by which 
James was subsequently overthrown, and William of Orange sub- 
stituted as king. It was soon known that the people of Massachu- 
setts had risen and put down Andros. Dongan had embarked for 
Europe,* and left the government of New York in the hands of 
Nicholson, the lieutenant-governour deputed by Andros, who was 
governour of both New England and New York. Nicholson was 
less popular than the governour ; and he was, with the council, im-" 
plicated in the previous measures of James and Dongan. 

Colonel Francis Nicholson, the lieutenant-governour, had been 
an officer in the army of James II : and by the testimony on oath of 
Nicholas Brower, aged 73, who had been a soldier in the same 
service, Nicholson had frequently joined in the popish or Roman 
Catholick religious ceremony, at the mass, in the king's tent. The 
members of the council left by Dongan, were Nicholas Bayard, 
colonel of the city militia, Frederick I'hillipse, Mr. Van Cort- 
landt, (who was likewise mayor, by Dongan's appointment,) and 
Mr. Dudley. 

* Smith says " Dongan returned to Ireland, and it is said, succeeded to the Earl- 
dom of Limerick." I lose sight of him from the moment of his departure, but think 
Chief Justice Smith is mistaken, because the descendants of Dongan continued in 
my time to possess the estate on Staten Island, which he had secured by grants from 
both New York and New Jersey ; and they continued to bear the same name unde- 
formed or disguised, by title. The last of the race dissipated the property, lost all 
respectability of character, and was a recruiting sergeant during what was called 
" John Adams's war." Ebding says that Governour Dongan delivered up his com- 
mand in April, 1688, and retired as a private citizen of New York to his estate; but 
soon after went to Ireland, his native country. Notwithstanding this, it may he 
considered as certain that he sailed for Europe, on being superseded ; and it is 
csUiblished by the records of 16'J'2, that he was not in New York at that period. 

Dongan resigned his connnand to Nicholson, who was deputed by Andros, the 
governour of both New England and New York. This was in 1688; consequently 
Bayard, Van Cortlandt, Philiipse, etc., were commissioned under Andros. 

Nicholson's administratiox. 1-5'5 

The fort, which was considered the safea;uard of the city, was iii 
a ruinous condition, and garrisoned by a few soldiers commanded 
by an ensign known to be a papist. On the land side, the city was 
fortified by the palisado or wall, extending through what is now 
Wall street, from the North River to the East, where in Smith's 
Valley, (by common usage called Smith's Vly or Fly,) was a block 
house without garrison. 

That the people suspected Nicholson and the council of being 
opponents to Willia,m of Orange, is certain. They feared some 
attempt to seize the fort for King James. And sometime late in 
May or early in June, a report being spread that the papists would 
next Sunday attack the people while at church in the fort, massacre 
them, and declare for James ; and at the same time the inhabitants 
of Long Island having sent messengers to express their fears to the 
people of the city ; the latter, in a tumultuary manner assembled in 
arms, on the second of June, and some went to the house of Leisler, 
and requested him, as a captain of the train bands, and probably 
the oldest- officer, to lead them to the seizm-e of the fort. This, it 
appears, he at first declined ; and in the meanwhile, others led by 
Ensign Stoll, proceeded to the fort. In the mean time, Leisler, 
having armed himself, marched with others of the people, entered 
the citadel as Stoll's superior officer, and was joyfully received. 

The reader will recollect Jacob Leisler has appeared in these 
pages before ; first, as the friend of the widow and fatherless stran- 
ger ; and then, as the opponent of Governour Andros, with the 
other magistrates of Albany, denying admission to the altar of the 
church of which he was a member, of an Episcopal clergyman sent 
out to the province by an avowed papist. As such, he sufl:ered 
imprisonment ; and finally with his brethren triumphed over the 
deputy tyrant supported by the Duke of York. 

Nicholson and his council, alarmed at this commotion of the 
people, assembled the aldermen and such justices of the peace as 
could be brought together, to this meeting. He appears to have 
given it the name of a Convention for keeping the peace. The 
people chose a Committee of Safety.* The public money was 
in the fort, and the convention, not thinking it safe, ordered it to be 

** It will be remembered that all these magistrates held their commissions from 
Andros, Governour of New England and New York, under James. 

The committee of safety was composed of the following freeholders of the city: 
viz. Richard Denton, Samuel Edsall, Theunis Roelofe, Peter Delanoy, Jean Mar- 
est, Muthias Harvey, Daniel Le Klerke, Thomas Williams, Johannes Vermylle, 
and William Lawrence. And on the 8th of June, 1669, they issued an order, 
constituting Captain Jacob Leisler, "captain of the fort" "until orders shall 
arrive from their majesties ," and they further order •■ that the said Lslsler shall have 
all aid from the ,city and county to suppress exteina! and mternal enemies of the 
VOL. I. 20 

154 leisler's proceedings. 

removed to the house of Frederick PhilUpse, wlio Is described as 
a man of honour " and very rich." Stoll, who first went to the 
fort, on the contrary is represented as " not worth a groat;" and 
this is uniformly the distinction made between the two parties, ex- 
cept as to Leisler. 

The pubhc money, ^773 12s, was not, however, given up, and 
in the evening, Captain Lodowick and his company, arrived to 
take possession of the fort, which appears to have been resigned to 
him by Captain Leisler, on an understanding that each captain 
should hold the citadel in his turn. 

The train-bands of the city consisted of five companies, of which 
Nicholas Bayard was the colonel. But this twmng out, under 
arms, was not with the consent of the colonel, who, with Nicholson 
and others, were devising means to prevent or counteract the move- 
ment of the people. The captains, however, acted in concert, and, 
without doubt, with the approbation of the citizens. 

Colonel Bayard repaired to the foot of Broadway, and found the 
militia assembled on the parade in front of the fort, where the 
bowling-green now is. He ordered them to dismiss, after placing 
the necessary guard in the fort ; but he was himself ordered to 
depart, and his authority set at nought. 

The council of Nicholson made an effort to retain the receipts 
of the customs, by sending Nicholas Bayard and three others of 

peace, and preserve the order of the province :" and he is authorized by the same 
committee, on'the 16th of August following, " to use the power and authority of 
commander-in-chief, until orders shall come from their majesties; and he is author- 
ized to do all such acts as are requisite for the good of the province, taking council 
with the militia and civil authority, as occasion shall require." 

There is a letter from Leisler to Major Nathaniel Gold, on file at Hartford, by 
which it appears that Gold had been informed of the seizing the fort, and had ap- 
proved of it. Leisler further informs him that Nicholson and his council bad caused 
many of the inhabitants for fear to fall oft' from the revolutionists ; that on the 2d of 
June, Leisler entered the fort with fifty men, and learnt on the 3d, that three ships 
had entered the Hook, when he alarmed the town, and called all the train-bands to 
the fort, where five captains and about 400 men unanimously signed an agreement 
to hold the fort " for the present protestant power that reigns in England." Not- 
withstanding which, the lieutenant-governour, Nicholson, continued to issue orders, 
end intended to send a messenger to England to "act against" the revolutionists. 
To counteract this, the writer says they will send an address to his majesty, signed 
by the captains of militia and the inhabitants. And on the 13th of June, 1689, the 
general court of Connecticut sent a letter, addressed to Captain Jacob Leisler and 
the rest of the captains in New York, approving of the seizure of the fort and the 
declaration they had put forth, advising them to keep the fort, to " sutfer no Roman 
Catholick to enter the same" with or without arms, nor any such to keep arms within 
the government. They send Major Nathaniel Gold and Captain James Fitz, ap- 
pointed to visit and advise them. These geiilleuien, on the 2()th June, address a 
paper to the captains, approving the necessity of what tliey had done, and the truth 
of their representations; that the fort was out of repair and without amnninition. 
They call the commandant "noble and loyal Captain Leisler." They repeat the 
advice to hold the fort and disarm papists, ;ind promise assistance, if required, from 
Conn«cficut. — MSS. in N, Y. Hist. 8oc. collection. 

leisler's proceedings. 155 

their number to take the place of the oflicer, Matthew Plowman, 
to whom payment of duties was refused, on the ground of his being 
an avowed papist, and therefore not legally qualified. These gentle- 
men repaired to the custom house, but found it guarded by militia, 
and were ordered away. The committee of safety appointed 
another collector, whose name was Green, and on the arrival of 
vessels, they sent armed men on board. 

Captain Lodowick sent his sergeant, with a file of men to de- 
mand the keys of the fort from Nicholson, whose quarters were at 
a tavern ; but they found him with his council at the city hall, (at 
the head of Coentie's slip,) to which place Bayard had returned. 
Nicholson refused to give the keys to Churchill, the sergeant ; but 
on the appearance of Lodowick, resigned them to him. It was 
known that the five captains agreed to keep the fort each in his 
turn, and Lodowick was then in command. It was in imitation of 
the citizens of Boston that the inhabitants had elected a committe of 
safety for the immediate government of the province ; and they 
signed an agreement to adhere to the Prince of Orange, and with 
their lives support the protestant religion. The captains of militia 
formed part of this committee, and it appears that Jacob Leisler 
was looked to as the principal in point of age, standing, and mer- 
cantile credit. 

Nicholson had, in the meantime, dissolved his council or con- 
vention, by getting on board ship, and sailing for England, with 
Mr. Ennis, the Church of England clergyman. Bayard, who had 
been very violent, and was exceedingly unpopular, soon after fled 
to Albany, where Colonel Schuyler, the mayor, and Mr. Living- 
ston, though willing to declare for William and Mary, would not 
submit to the government of Leisler and the people of New York. 

In the city of New York, Stephanus Van Cortlandt, the mayor, 
and the aldermen who had taken the oath of allegiance to James, 
kept up a show of opposition to Leisler ; and when the government 
of Connecticut sent two deputies, (Major Gold and Captain Fitz,) 
to learn the state of affairs in New York, they, of course, went to 
Leisler, at the fort, and to him communicated the intelligence that 
the Prince and Princess of Orange had been proclaimed King and 
Queen of England. Van Cordandt, hearing this, assembled the 
common council at his house, and despatched Alderman Merritt 
to the fort to request the gentlemen from Connecticut to come to 
Mr. Van Cordandt. They came accordingly, and being asked if 
they had come to Ncav York to proclaim William and Mary, an- 
swered, no ; but having brought the proclamation, as issued in 
England, with them, they had given it to the commander-in-chief 
at the fort. 

Leisler lost no time, but immediately proclaimed the king and 

156 i.eisler's proceedings. 

queen at the fort ; and proceeding from thence to the city hall, 
there repeated the proclamation, by sound of trumpet, to the rejoic- 
ing people. 

Van Cortlandt, the mayor, and the aldermen of his party, repaired 
to Coentie's slip, to be present at the proclamation, but were too 
late. They were told by the officers of militia tliat the people 
were incensed against them. It appears, however, that Leisler 
invited them to the fort to drink the king and queen's health, but 
their fears made it an uneasy visit, and they soon retired, not think- 
ing themselves safe. Indeed, it is said, Leisler advised " a short 
visit," as he could not be answerable for their safety. 

Things continued in this state, awaiting news from England and 
orders from William's government, to which Leisler wrote, giving 
an account of the situation of affairs. In a private letter which 
Leisler sent to the king, he stated the repairs he had made to the 
fort, and other matters in detail, but not with the clearness of an 
accustomed writer of the English language.* On the 25th of 
August, Milbourne, the son-in-law of Leisler, arrived from Eng- 
land, and being an Englishman, acted as secretary to the com- 

The mayor, Stephanus Van Cortlandt, appointed by Dongan, 
and the common council, who had been elected the preceding year, 
continued in New York, but without authority from William's gov- 
ernment or without the obedience of the people, and in opposition 
to them ; and on the approach of the customary time for the elec- 
tion of a common council and the appointment of mayor, the people 
assembled in their wards, elected their aldermen and assistants, and 
for the first time, their mayor, also. 

On Sunday, the 29th September, 1689, " at a common council 
held at the city hall, (Coentie's slip,) the following aldermen and 
assistants were returned for the ensuing year :t 

For the West Ward, Hendrick Van Veurden, Alderman, 
Swartwout OfFerts, Assistant. 

Dock Ward, John Spratt, Alderman, 

Garret Duykinck, Assistant. 

»South Ward, Robert Walters, Alderman, 

Johannes Provoost, Assistant. 

" Tlie £773 I2.s. publick money, with that derived from customs and other sources 
of revenue, I do not donbt but Leisler employed in fortifying, and other expenses 
for the government; though his enemies, (and they were the only persons who 
published by means of the press,) charged him with appropriating all monies to his 
private use ; but there is neither proof nor probability in the charge. He is accused 
of paying his soldiers 16d a day — that is, perhaps, 9d sterling. 

t See Records in the Clerk's Office of the city of New York. 

lkisler's proceedixgs. 157 

North Ward, Cornelius Phivicr, Alderman, 

Heudrick "^ren Eyck, Assistant. 

East Ward, John D. Brown, Alderman, 

Peter Adolph, Assistant. 

Out Ward, John Couwanhoven, Alderman, 
Wolfert Webbers, Assistant. 

We see by the above, that the common council elected l)v the 
people, had taken possession of the city hall ; and on the 5th of 
October, (six days after,) the mayor and common council of the 
preceding year, (under Dongan's government,) met at a private 
dwelling, the house of Alderman William Merrit, and passed de- 
cisions on accounts presented ; and again the same persons met at 
the same place in the afternoon, and continued the business. These 
were, Stephanus Van Cortlandt, the mayor appointed by Dongan, 
with Messrs. Merritt, Lawrence, Rombolts, Kipp, and Richards, of 
the common council ; likewise Colonel Nicholas Bayard, and 
Mr. Dekay. They again met on the 7th of October, and imme- 
diately afterwards dispersed. Bayard and Van Cortlandt going to 
Albany. Nicholson had some time before sailed for England, and 
with him Mr. Ennis, the Episcopal clergyman, as has been men- 

On the 14th of October, the following proclamation was issued 
by Leisler : " Whereas, by order of the Committee of Safety, 
it was ordered that the mayor, sheriff, and clerk, shall he chosen hif 
the imijoritij of votes of the freeholders, (isrc," accordingly Peter De 
la Noy had been chosen IMayor, Johannes Johnson, sheriff, and 
Abraham Governeur, clerk; which choice had been confirmed by 
the commander-in-chief: and " whereas, the committee of safety 
have appointed me to confirm the civil magistrates and officers of 
the City of New York, chosen by the protestant freemen of the 
city, &c." " I accordingly confirm," as above " according to the 
true intent and meaning of said committee." Accordingly the 
common council, as given above, were sworn in and confirmed, and 
in the words of the proclamation, "all inhabitants are required to 
give due obedience to said magistrates." "Done at Fort William, 
the 14th of October, 1689, in the first year of their majesties' 

On the same dav, the common council met at the city hall, then 
at Coentie's slip, when the oaths were administered, and they pro- 
ceeded to business. 

They sent a written order by the high constable, directed to Van 
Cortlandt, demanding, as they had done by a verbal message be- 
fore, the city's charter, seals, books, and papers. But INIr. Van 
Cortlandt was not to be found, and his wife, receiving the paper, 
threw it out of doors. We will now see what was doing at 


On iJie 24th day of June,* the corporallon of the city of 
Albany, assisted by the mihtary officers met, and required the 
sheriff' and constable to assist Robert Livingston, collector, in 
gauging certain hogsheads, said to be molasses, but suspected to 
be rum. 

On the 2Sth, Marte Gerritze and Kilian Van Rensaellaer 
were present, and the common council resolved that all pubhck af- 
fairs should be managed by the mayor, and civil and military officers, 
until orders should come from William and Mary — ^Robert Living- 
ston signed as clerk. 

On the 21st August, the common council resolved to make 
public, the news of the hostilities of the French and Indians. 

On the 4th September, at a convention of the mayor and others, 
they resolved to send an express down to Captain Jacob Leisler 
and the rest of the military officers of the city of New York, for 
the assistance of 100 men or more — 600 weight of powder and 
ball, cannon, and .£200 out of their majesties' revenue " which we 
understand is daily collected by them." A committee is appointed 
to meet deputies from New England respecting the Indians. They 
hear from Schenectady that the officers there cannot agree among 
themselves, " how to behave" in case of attack ; therefore Dirk 
Wessells and Johannes Wendell, are sent to convene the people 
and advise them " at their peril." 

On the 17th September, the convention asked their mes- 
senger who carried the above letter to New York, if *' he re- 
ceived any answer from said Leisler," and he told them, that he 
delivered the letter " to Captain Leisler, but had no letter in an- 
swer, but that directed to Captain Wendell and Captain Bleecker." 
He heard Leisler say he had nothing to do with the civil power. 
Upon this the convention resolved, that " not the least answer to 
the convention" had been given, " but in the letter to the Captains 
signed by Leisler alone," the purport of which, chiefly is, " to in- 
duce the common people to send two men to assist them in their 
committee," that he sends them " 40 pounds of match, out of their 
majesties' stores, and 200 pounds of powder, belonging to the mer- 
chants of Albany, and 4 small guns, but as for money, they received 
•none," Leisler alledged that they cannot send any men, in con- 
sequence of die " great slight their people received when in Albany," 
.and earnestly insisted on deputies coming from Albany, to " con- 
sult with them, for the pubhc good." 

The convention resolved to apply to New England for assistance, 
,and means were devised to raise money. The following persons 

* Se« minutes of tlie Albany Convention, in MSS., in library of Historical 
^Society «f New York. 


subscribed tbe sums opposite their names, the money to be repaid 
by a general tax. P. Schuyler, ^15 — Killian Van Kansaellaer, 
£15 — Gab'!. Thomson, .£10 — Marte Gerritze, £10 — Jan Lan- 
sing, £12 — Johannes Wendell, £12 — Lev. Van Schaick, £10 — 
Robert Livingston, £50. The others are small sums, and the 
total was £367 6s. 

On September, the 2Sth, the Albany convention resolved, 
that " since sundry members of the convention" had signed " a 
bond, for reimbursing Robert Livingston, such disbursements as 
he shall make, the said bond shall be recorded." The signers 
are, Peter Schuyler, Dirk W^essells, Claes Ripse Van Dam, Gabl. 
Thomson, Dirke Teunise, Alexander Ryckman and David Schuyler. 

On the 25th of October, the convention resolved, that the 
magistrates should take the oath of allegiance to William and 
Mary, and it was so done. It was resolved likewise to admin- 
ister such oath to the military officers and soldiers. 

The convention, on information that Leister intended to send men 
to assist them, resolved that it was with the view to take the fort, and 
make the magistrates prisoners ; and that a letter be written to Al- 
derman Schaick and Lieutenant Joachim Staats, to make inquiry 
" of the business," and to signify to Leisler that 95 men from New 
England are sent for, and others are ready in Ulster, and that Leis- 
ler's men shall by no means be admitted to have command in 

On the 4th, November, Alderman Levinus Van Schaick, to 
whom the protest against Leisler's sending armed men to Albany, was 
sent, arrived from New York, and says, that he spoke to Staats, who re- 
plied, that he knew not what to do, as it was intended he should be 
captain of the company for Albany, to lye in the fort, and if he did 
not accept the command they would send Churchill, and he thought 
he had better go. Upon this they went to the committee and delivered 
the protest from Albany ; on which Milbourne said that he would 
go to Albany and see the fort there better secured. Schaick in- 
formed the convention that he heard Leisler call certain officers in 
Albany papists, and say that Albany should bring its charter to 
New York, if the city had one. 

The convention resolved to acquaint the citizens in their respec- 
tive wards, that a company of men were coming up from New York, 
who intended to turn the government of the city up-side down, 
make themselves masters of the fort and city, and in no manner be 
obedient to any orders of the convention. The next day accor- 
dingly the people were convened at the City Hall, and certain arti- 
cles being proposed to them they agreed to them all, as desired by 
the convention, and fully resolved to maintain the present govern- 
ment, until further orders came from their majesties. 


On the 8th of Novemher, the convention appointed Col. Schuyler 
commander of the fort ; who was to ohey the convention : and he 
took possession accordingly. 

On the 9th of November, a portion of the convention, the 
convention being met, and the recorder presiding, at the city 
hall, in Albany ; and hearing that three sloops were in sight, 
" whereof one had the king's jack aboard," and that " soldiers" 
were in them, four of the convention were sent to know " upon what 
account they were come." Milboarne replied, by asking if the 
fort was open for his men to march in that night ^ He was 
answered " No ;" that the mayor of the city had possession of the 
fort, and was then the commander. JNIilbourne was desired to 
come ashore for further conversation. He accordingly came with 
the deputies to the city hall, and was bid welcome. The hall 
being full of people, Milbourne addressed them, and told them 
they had now an opportunity of freeing themselves from King 
James — that the charter of the city was null, as being granted by 
a papist king and his servant Andros, a popish governour. That 
now the people had the power to choose their officers, both civil 
and military, and stating that the present officers, holding by an 
illegal tenor, ought to be subjected to a free election ; " and much 
such like discourse," say the minutes of this convention. Staats 
and Bogardus, who came up with Milbourne, asked why the ma- 
gistrates did not speak ^ Upon which, the recorder replied that 
there was time enough yet; for that Milbourne had shown no com- 
mission ; that the convention was met for the purpose of billeting 
Milbourne's men, and with good intent; that " he was not author- 
ized at that juncture to make him answer to such discourse; they 
had seen no commission that he had yet.'''' 

It will be here remembered by the reader, that the civil and mili- 
tary officers in the Albany Convention were all officers commis- 
sioned under James H, by Sir Edmund Andros. Milbourne, and 
the rulers at New York, were commissioned by the people. 

The recorder remarked, that " Milbourne addressed himself to 
the wrong people, since there were no arbitrarv nowers in Albany ; 
God had delivered them from that yoke by their majesties now upon 
the throne, to whom they had sworn allegiance." Milbounie de- 
sired that the mayor might be present. He was twice sent for, but 
answered that he could not leave his post. The recorder stated, 
" that he represented the mayor in his absence," and to him was 
delivered a letter " signed by twenty-five persons," which was 
read, but referred to a fuller meedng next day. The recorder 
then offered quarters, by billets, for Milbourne's men, which he 
declined, only asking provisions, " which was granted ; and so 
parted that night." 

The letter purports to be from the committee chosen by the 

MILBOURNE's mission to ALBANY. 161 

"free and open elections of the freemen" in the respective coun- 
ties, stating that they (the signers,) had sent Jacob Milbourne with 
fifty men suitably armed for the use and defence of his majesty's, 
(King William'^,) forts and .subjects, that the enemy may not take 
advantage of any disputes or differences among tlie people of the 
province. It is signed by 2-3 of the committee, among wliom I 
find Jacob Leisler senior and junior, Peter De la Noy, Peter De 
Milt, John Beekman, Hendrick Ten Eyck, J. De Keimer, Jean 
Desmorest, Gerardus Beekman, Richard Panton, Adrian Van 
Schaick, Gerret Duyking, John De Peyster, William Churchill, 
Myndert Corten, and a few English names. 

The convention, however, receive letters from Schenectady, 
written to the people of that place by Jacob Milbourne and Henry 
Cuyler, from which they infer that INIilbourne designs to subvert 
the present government, as he invites the people to choose magis- 
trates independent of those commissioned by James II. 

On Sunday, the 10th of November, the convention being met, 
sent for Milbourne, and the recorder told him that the letter from 
25 perspns in New York had been read, saying that 51 men were 
sent to the assistance of Albany; and asked him, upon whose 
charge they were come. ]Milbourne answered, that Albany must 
pay them. The recorder said, that was contrary to a letter from 
New York, of September 4th. Upon which, Milbourne appealed 
to the people standing by, and asked if the county of Albany would 
be able to pay that charge. The people said, " no." Then Mil- 
bourne showed his commission to the convendon, saying, " We 
shall find a way for it." The recorder told him that a commission 
signed and sealed by private persons, was of no force. 

Here was the point of difference between New York and Albany 
or the convention and the committee of safety. The committee 
were men chosen by the people. The Albany Convention were 
officers of King James II ; and though they disclaimed that king, 
they would not cease to act by his authority, in opposition to the 

The recorder told INIilbourne that as he had no commission from 
the King of England, Albany would obey no other. Milbourne 
addressed the people ; and the secretary of the convention, Robert 
Livingston, records the address in his own way. Milbourne 
insisted that the charter and commissions of James were void ; that 
the people should choose their officers until orders from King Wil- 
liam arrived. 

Milbourne was desired to desist from such discourse : for that 
he and his commission should not be acknowledged ; but Albany 
would give quarters for his men. It was then agreed to meet next 
morning to settle the quarters for the New Yorkers. The magis*" 

VOL. I. 21 

1Z2 MILBOURNE's mission to ALBANY. 

trates of Albany told Milbourne that they did not acknowledge him 
to have any legal authority. 

The peoj)Ie of Albany are represented, by the journal of the con- 
vention, as agreeing with them ; but on the 11th of November, the 
convention were deterred from meeting at the City Hall, on hearing 
that the citizens were there assembled, and wished to appoint a 
person to take charge of the fort, who should be independent of 
the mayor. 

Milbourne declared, in writing, that he was authorized by the 
committee of safety of the province " to order the affairs at Al- 
bany," and insists that there shall be a fair election for the officers 
of the city, both civil and military ; that the commander of the fort 
shall be chosen by the people : and demands of the convention an 
account of the arms and stores in the fort fit for the king's service. 

On the 12th, the convention met at a private house, and unani- 
mously resolved not to " accept of the fifty men" from New York 
on any other terms than that they should be under the command of 
the convention. Certain articles were agreed upon with Milbourne, 
and his soldiers, who had lain at "Marte Gerusties Island," were 
marched into town, and received by a portion of the inhabitants inta 
their houses without billeting, or, says the record, " lawful au- 

Peter Schuyler found it necessary to come from the fort to the 
City Hall, to appease the people, and declared that he had taken pos- 
session of the fort from knowledge of the designs of the committee 
of New York. It is plain that the convention and Milbourne could 
not agree. They denied his authority, or that of the people of 
New York. And an entry is made on the minutes, by order, that 
on the 15th day of November, Milbourne, with a company of armed 
men, came to the fort, and that a messenger was sent to warn him 
not to come *' without the gates of the city." He came, notwith- 
standing, to the fort, and demanded the place. The mayor 
answered that he kept the fort for their majesties, Wilham and 
Mary ; and commanded Milbourne and his men away. Mil- 
bourne attempted to enter, having " one foot in," says the record, 
but was thrust out ; upon which himself and company retired to 
within the gates of the city, " and there put the king's jack, facing 
the fort." Milbourne, tlicn, after charging his men to load with 
bullets, came to the gates of the city and read a paper. 

The Mohawks, whom Schuyler had at hand, offered (according 
to the minutes,) to fire upon the New Yorkers ; but the convention 
drew up and read a protest against Milbourne, and sent Doctor 
Delius and die recorder to pacify the Indians, and a messenger to 
tell Milbourne that if he came out of the gate, the Mohawks would 
fire upon him. Upon which he marched down the town and dis- 
missed his men. 


The city of Albany, at this time, and long after, consisted prin- 
cipally of two streets. One, the longest, ran parallel to the river, 
and under the hill on which the fort was situated. The hill rose 
steeply about the middle of this street, and another, still wider, 
crossed the first, from the foot of the hill, running towards the 

It appears by the minutes of the convention, that many of the 
people of Albany, and some " private, but extreme active men," 
coincided with Milbourne ; who, having procured Joachim Staats 
to be elected captain of the New York soldiers, left them in Albany, 
and returned. 

William Smith says, in his history of New York, " that Jacob 
Milbourne was commissioned for the reduction of Albany." No 
such thing is pretended by the secretary of the convention, Robert 
Livingston. Smith further says, " In the spring, he (Milbourne,) 
commanded another party upon the same errand, and the distress 
of the country, on an Indian irruption, gave him all the desired 

Captain Bull arrived with S7 men, from Connecticut, on the 
25th November, and was gladly received by the convention : nor 
does the captain of the New Yorkers seem inclined to any adverse 
action. On the 29th, twenty-nine of Bull's force, under Ensign 
Talmadge, marched to Schenectady to keep that post, as it was 
agreed upon by the convention and the captain. How well they 
kept guard, we shall see by and by. Staats refused to send any 
of the New York men to this outpost. 

Colonel Bayard, although he had seen the- irritation of the 
people of New York against himself, sent an order from Albany, 
directed to Captains Abram De Peyster and John De Bruyn, 
of the New York trained bands, the tendency of which could have 
only been to increase the enmity of the people, to himself and his 
associates. It was dated the 20th of October, 1689, and is in the 
following words : " whereas Jacob Leisler, and some of his associ- 
ates, have in a hostile and illegal manner, invaded his majesties fort 
at New York, and subverted all government by law established, I, 
as Colonel of the Regiment, do strictly require you, and each of 
you, to desist aiding and abetting said Leisler, and his associates, 
and not to suffer your soldiers to obey him, but to obey the civil 
government established by Sir E. Andros, which is in full force, 
notwithstanding the imprisonment or death of said Andros." This 
is dated at Albany, in the first year of the reign of William III. 
Andros had been put down in Boston, as the tyrant appointed 
by James, to enslave the colonies. De Bruyn, upon the death, or re- 
signation of Van Veurden, had been elected Alderman of the West 

Long Island, which at this time was a most important and po- 


pulous portion of the province, was friendly to Leisler's government. 
The inhabitants of the east end of the Island, would wilHngly have 
placed themselves under the jurisdiction of Connecticut, but find-r 
ing thai cuidd not he, they joined with their neighbours of the west- 
ern counties, and with the city and county of New York, as well as the 
counties of West Chester and Orange, in cheerful attachment to 
Leisler : but the magistrates of Albany refused to be governed by 
the Burghers of the INIanhattan City, though declaring for Wil- 
liam and Maiy. 

Peter Schuyler, the mayor of Albany, possessed and deserved 
the confidence of the people of that neighbouruood, as well as of the 
Iroquois. He was friendly to the revolution in England, and 
promptly declared for the Prince of Orange. It would have been 
happy for the province, and for Schuyler if he had acted with the 
people of the city of New York, and joined with the friends of 
Leisler, until advices arrived from England. But Schuyler was 
one of the "'people of figure," and the influence of Bayard, Van 
Cortlandt and Livingston, determined him to declare himself in 
opposition to Leisler.* 

While thus a portion of the people of Albany, Schenectady, and 
the immediate frontier of the north, was stimulated to hostility 
against their friends of the south and east, the province was involved 
in war with France and Canada, by the adoption of the govern- 
ment of \\ illiam and Mary. 

The government of Connecticut sent men to aid Leisler in keep- 
ing the fort at New York: but in October, (of this year,) 1689, they 

* Theodore Sedgwick. Esq., in his very interesting and highly vahaable biography 
oi William Livingston, the patriot governonr of New Jersey, during our revolution, 
has very properly sought arid given information, respecting the first American 
Livingston, the opponent of Leisler. He says, that Robert Livingston, had proba- 
bly acquired the Dutch language while with his father in Holland, and came to New 
York, early enough to be employed in the affairs of Albany, while that place was 
not yet a city, that is, as early as l(i76. That lie married the widow of Patroon 
Nicholas Van Rensaellaer, about IC79. That she was the sister of Peter Schuyler, 
(the hero of New York in those days, as his grandson Philip, was, in the days of 
the revolutionary contest,) and daughter of Phillip Pieterse Schuyler. Conse- 
quently, Robert Livingston was the brother-in-law of Peter Schtiyler. 

Albany was made a city in 1686. The cliarter was granted by Dongan, who a 
papist himself was urged by his master, the bigot James, to introduce the religion 
of Rome into the colony. Peter Schuyler was the first mayor of Albany ; Living- 
ston was an officer of the city, appointed by the same governonr. They were 
both officer^• under James. Schuyler placed himself at the head of what was called 
the Albany Convention, and as Mr. Sedgwick says, Robert Livingston was his 

On the 15th January, 1690, the sheriff of Albany wrote to Milbourne, saying, 
" about the beginning of April last past," that is, in 1689, " Robert Livingston told 
me that there was a plot of robbery gone out of Holland into England, and the 
Prince of Orange was at the head of it, and he might see how he got out again, and 
should come to the same end as Monmoulli did. This I can testify." This letter 
vyas signed by Sherifl' Pretty. Upon this charge, Leisler issued a warrant against 
Livingston as a rebel 

leisler's proceedings. 1G5 

informed him that in consequence of their great expenses, "by reason 
of the Indian war," and distresses by reason of sickness and short 
crops, they can no longer afford him that aid. " But if any foreign 
force should inv'ade you, we shall be ready lo relieve you according 
to our ability," and they at this time subscribe themselves his " af- 
fectionate friends, the general court of Cbnnecticut." 

That Bayard, Van Cortlandl, and their associates should feel an 
enmity to Leisler and the people of New York, bordering upon 
madness, is what we might expect ; but that they should have suffi- 
cient influence over Peter Schuyler, to induce him to risk the ill 
consequences which might flow from the active hostility of the 
French, rather than join in supporting the New York government 
for the short space of time that would probably intervene, before 
specific instructions arrived from England, is to me surprising, and 
appears at variance with his character for judgment. 

From Leisler's letter to William and INIary, I gather the follow- 
ing facts. That, relying upon the good understanding between 
James II, and Louis, of France, Governour Dongan had suffered 
the fort at New York, (which commanded both harbour and city,) 
to go to decay : that the well which supplied water, was filled up, 
and the ammunition for defence very limited : all which, when Cap- 
tain Leisler was chosen by the freeholders to keep the place until 
orders arri\ ed from England, he knowing that war with France must 
ensue, had repaired, and put in a state of defence ; besides causing 
a battery of seven guns to be erected to the west of the fort, where 
State street and the walk now" called "the Batter}'" exists. That 
about the time of his taking command, an incendiary, (always at that 
time supposed to be a papist) had endeavoured to burn the church 
which was within the fort, and which seems to have been used as a 
powder-magazine, as well as for preaching and prayer. That the 
city was " fortified on the land side with good palisades, and in sev- 
eral places there were guns." That there were fifty men in the fort, 
whom the country had promised to pay, besides a company of the 
train-bands that mounted guard every night. That great appre- 
hensions were entertained from Governour Andros, who was sup- 
posed to have escaped from the Bostonians ; and that Leisler was 
determined to hold the city and fort for their majesties, William 
and Mary, until further orders. 

The dissensions and divisions at Albany and Schenectady were 
such, that although notified of their danger, they would not permit 
the forces from Connecticut to keep regular guard : at the same 
time, Leisler, misapprehending the intentions of the Connecticut 
men, wrote to Governour Treat, (as I find by his letter in the Sec- 
retary of State's office, Hartford,) complaining that Captain Jona- 
than Bull and his troops, aided and supported the Convention of 
Albany, who had set themselves in opposition to his majesty and 

IGG leisler's proceedings. 

the laws of the province. He, therefore, requests the Governour 
of Connecticut to appoint Mr. Fitch and others, who knew the 
state of affairs at New York, as commissioners to agree with com- 
missioners from Leisler, upon proper measures for the defence of 
the frontiers. 

In consequence of this apphcation, Messrs. Gould and Fitch 
were appointed with authority to agree upon the number of men to 
be furnished by Connecticut. This letter of Leisler's is dated 
February 14th, 1690, and the next day he again wrote to Treat, 
that in the short interval he had received the melancholy news of 
the burning and massacre at Schenectady, (of which particular 
account will be given in the next chapter,) a, misfortune which he 
attributes to " that convention, and Colonel Bayard's faction, who 
have asserted that the commissions of Sir Edmund Andros remain 
in full force."* And we are told by the historian of Connecticut, 
that the people of Albany and Schenectady, notwithstanding Cap- 
tain Bull's remonstrance, would not permit the Connecticut officers 
to keep regular watch. 

It is evident, that although Milbourne carried a force with 
him that might have assisted in defending the frontier, he cer- 
tainly did not lead troops enough for the reduction of Albany 
by arms, if he could not persuade the people to join with New York 
and all the southern part of tlife province in yielding obedience to 
the person who had been elected to the command. We know to 
certainty that the transaction is recorded by the enemies of Mil- 
bourne and his father-in-law ; and we know that he returned disap- 
pointed to New York. We have already seen the minutes of the 
Albany Convention on that head. 

The discomfiture of Milbourne appears to have encouraged Bay- 
ard to visit New York, and he was there in private when some very 
important dispatches arrived from England in the beginning of 
December, 1689. 

It appears that before Nicholson and Ennis arrived in England, 
the government of William III, in the latter part of July, 1689, 
wrote to Francis Nicholson, Esq., or in his absence, to such as for 
the time being, takes care for preserving the peace, and administering 
the laws in his majesty'' s irroviitce of New Yorlc, in America. Thus 
the person at the head of the government in the province was 'em- 
powered to take the chief command, and to appoint for his assist- 
ance as many freeholders as he should think fit until further orders. 
This important packet was entrusted to Mr. Riggs, and was be- 
tween four and five months on the way. 

Riggs arrived the Sth or 9th of December, and might have 
presented himself and letters at the governour's house, in the 

See Hartfor i MSS. 


fort, with propriety ; for it was notorious that Jacob Leisler 
had administered the laws, and been cheerfully supported as 
chief of the government, for William and Mary, nearly seven 
months, except by the adherents of Dongan's administration, and 
by the leading men at Albany and its environs ; but it seems that 
Riggs hesitated, and unfortunately Nicholas Bayard had clandes- 
tinely arrived from Albany, for the -purpose, as he says, of visiting 
his son who was sick,* and was at this time secreted in his own 
house. Another of tbe council of Dongan and James was like- 
wise in town, Frederick Phillipse, a man only distinguished for his 
riches. To him. Bayard, ever restless and on the watch to get him- 
self or others into trouble, or power, sent notice of the arrival of 
Riggs, and persuaded Phillipse to seek the king's messenger and 
bring him to the place of Bayards concealmont.t Riggs was ac- 
cordingly brought by Phillipse, on the night after his arrival, to the 
house of Colonel Bayard, who in conjunction with his fellow kings- 
counsellor, and officer of James II, a passive instrument in his 
hands, endeavoured to persuade the bearer of despatches, that al- 
though the government of the province was in other hands, and the 
governour's council had not met for months, the letter belonged to 
such of the council as were to be found, viz, Bayard and Phillipse. 
For, says Bayard, although the Lieutenant Governour had departed, 
and the council had not officiated for some small time, yet, since 
the justices of the peace had been continued in their offices, by vir- 
tue of the present king's proclamation, the letters addressed as 
above, were intended, and ought to be delivered to such of the gov- 
ernour's council as could be found. He avered, that he would hold 
the despatches until Stephanus Van Cortlandt could be sent for, 
and on the meeting of die council deliver them to the presiding 

Happily for Riggs, this reasoning did not prevail with him, and 
the next day the Commander-in-chief demanded the letters as be- 
longing to him who administered the government in Nicholson's 
absence. The messenger was convinced, and the despatches with 
the powers they authorized, were delivered to Jacob Leisler. 

This attempt of Bayard and Phillipse to seize papers directed 
to the person who administered the law by the choice of the people, 
evinces the notions prevalent in what were called the " gentry" and 
"people of figure," and which governed them, not only at that time, 
but long after. These nodons were derived in part from supe- 
riority of riches, but more from their being received as associates 

* MSS. Petition of Bayard : New York Historical Library. 

t The writer of the Pamphlet published in Boston, in 1G90, entitled "A Modest 
and Impartial Narrative," says, tliat Nicholson left Phillipse and Van Cortlaudt ia- 
trust for him wheu he departed for England. 


by the immediate officers of the king's government — the governoursy 
lieutenant governours and miUtary leaders horn in Europe, and bearing 
commissions emanating from his sacred Majesty. To be the favour- 
ites of these supposed favourites of royalty, surrounded the pro- 
vincial gentry with rays which distinguished them, and separated 
them from the people. They were jprovincial nobles : deriving 
splendour, though at second hand, from the fountain of honour, 
whether a licentious Charles, the hired tool of France, or a bigoted 
James, the worshipper of Rome and the pope. 

It would at first sight seem to require great assurance in Bayard 
and Phillipse to demand letters addressed to the person in power, 
when they knew they had no poiver ; and one of them, at least, 
was skulking from public observation, and knew himself to be the 
object of popular detestation : but that halo derived from Don- 
gan and Nicholson, that distinction flowing from king James's com- 
mission, constituting them members of his majesty's council, was 
a medium through which they saw, and which misled them in an 
attempt that must have been resisted by those who at that time 
held the power of the province in their hands, administered the 
laws, and were supported by the people, except in Albany. 

Leisler received the letters and instructions as addressed to the 
head of the government in Nicholson's absence. He exhibited 
them to the committee of safety. By their advice, he assumed the 
style of lieutenant governour, and a portion of those who had acted 
as the committee of safety with others, freeholders as directed, were 
sworn in, as their majesty's, or the governours council. This was 
done by those who had sworn to maintain the government of Wil- 
liam and Mary, and had officiated as the advisers of the comman- 
der-in-chief to this time. 

On the 11th of December, 1689, the following freeholders were 
constituted the lieutenant governour's council : Peter De La Noy, 
Samuel Staats, Hendrick Jansen, and Johannes Vermilye, for the 
city of New York ; Gerardus Beekman for King's County; Samuel 
Edsall for Queen's County ; Thomas Williams for West Chester; 
and William Lawrence for Orange County.* 

The attempt made by Bayard to gain possession of the letters 
from England, had the effect of making known his presence 
in the city of New York, and I presume some measures were 
taken by Leisler to cite him before the council, which failed ; 
for on the 17th of January, 1690, a warrant for his apprehension 
was issued ; is is headed " by the lieutenant governour and coun- 
cil," and signed, " Jacob Leisler," It directs the apprehension 

* Besides these I find cnumerafed as active friends of Leisler, Benjamin Blaggr, 
Hcnderick Cwyler, and John Couenhoven. Milbourne was secretary to the 

leisler's proceedings. . 169 

of Nicholas Bayard for high misdemeanours committed against his 
majesty's authority, and for certain lihellous writings, containing 
" execrable lies and pernicious falsehoods," contrary to the peace 
of the province and his majesty's government. It directs that he 
shall be seized wherever found ; and authorizes search to be made 
for him by breaking open places suspected of concealing him : and 
to use violence in case of resistance. This order Is directed to 
" Wilham Churchill and his company." 

Leisler likewise made known, by proclamation, the additional 
authority under which he acted, and required, In conformity to the 
act of assembly of 1683, entided " a bill for defraying the requisite 
charges of government," which, as was said, was still remaining in 
force, that all persons should obey the same, and that the collector 
and other officers should do their duty In the premises. 

Churchill and his company entered the house of Nicholas Bayard, 
and as directed, broke open doors that were barred against them : Bay- 
ard fled to a neighbouring house, but was followed, and seized by 
the assistance of Abraham Brazier and several other citizens.* We 
have sufficient evidence that the Colonel was Imprisoned, and 
treated rigorously. The jails of New York were several apart- 
ments and dungeons In the City Hall, at Coentles Slip, and from 
one of these prisons Bayard petitioned for release. 

On die 28di of December, 16S9, Leisler wrote to the military 
and civil officers of the city and county of Albany, thus: "I, 
having received orders from his majesty, King William, for taking 
care of this government, have commissioned Joachim Staats to take 
into his possession Fort Orange, and keep the soldiers in good 
order and discipline." He further orders, that free elections be 
forthwith made for a mayor and aldermen, and calls upon those he 
addresses to assist for his majesty's Interest and the good of the city. 
The convention, on receiving this letter, resolve to send the high 
sheriff of the city and county to Joachim Staats, informing him of the 
secret of such letter, and to demand of him If any such orders from 
the king had been sent to him, they being desirous to behave accord- 
ingly. The high sheriff, at whose house the convention was 
sitting, returns, and says, Staats will come to them. On the appear- 
ance of Staats, the convention insist upon knowing whether the 
king has constituted Leisler lieutenant-governour ; as. If so, they 
were willing to obey ; otherwise, not. Staats tells them that they 
know well enough diat die letters were directed to Nicholson, and, 
in his absence, to such as for the time being, administered die gov- 
ernment. " Let the bell ring, and call the people together, and 
then I will show what authority I have." 

The convenUon reject this ; but say, if he is to make proclama- 

" •' Modest and Impartial Nanative" — Boston, 1690. 
VOL 1. 22 


tion to the people of tlie accession of the king and queen, they, the 
convention, would call the companies together in array, and do it 
with due solemnity. In the afternoon, Staats came and showed an 
order from Leisler for him and the freeholders and people of 
Albany to proclaim William and Mary, if it had not already been 
done ; as Leisler had received letters from the ministry so to do. 
Staats insisted that the gentlemen, (says the secretaiy,) should de- 
clare whether they acknowledge Jacob Leisler to be lieutenant- 
governour, and whether they woidd obey him. The gentlemen 
require him to show copies of the letters to Leisler. Staats replied, 
" If I show such copies, you will say they are Milbourne's writing." 
He showed a commission from Leisler to take possession of Fort 
Orange, and an order for a day of thanksgiving. The gentlemen 
require to see orders from King William, directed to Jacob Leisler, 
but desired copies of the papers Staats showed, and they would 
give him their answer in writing ; and, in the meantime, they would 
write to Captain Leisler about it. Staats, however, departed with- 
out leaving copies. 

The same afternoon, the convention met again, to resolve whether 
or not Leisler is to be acknowledged as commander-in-chief. 
P. Schuyler, who had been present at all the previous meetings, 
says, that he cannot acknowledge Leisler until he shows lawful 
authority from the king. Weissells, Van Schaick, and a majority, 
accord with the mayor. They forbid the beating of drum, to call 
the people together, and agree upon a protest against Leisler, de- 
claring that the letters from the ministry do not apply to him. Cap- 
tain Wendell and Captain Bleecker are in a minority. The protest 
was published with great parade. The mayor marched at the head 
of the procession, from the fort, accompanied by the convention and 
a guard of fifty men armed. As soon as they entered the city 
gates, the mayor and officers, " went with their swords pointed, 
with drums beating ; they came to the plain before the church !" 
The bell rang thrice ; the mayor made a speech, and the protest 
was read. The procession passed through the " principal streets 
of the city, then returned to the fort, and the protest was sent by the 
mayor to be affixed to the church." 

This display would not have been made, we may suppose, if 
they had not received faithful intelligence from their zealous friend, 
Livingston, and the government of Connecticut. Accordingly, 
appeared Captain Bull widi his one hundred soldiers on the oppo- 
site banks of the river : he crossed, and reported himself and forces 
to the Albany Convention. The soldiers were drawn up in the 
main street, and, as if in defiance of the Lieutenant-governour of 
New York, they fired a feu dejol. As before mentioned, the New 
York troops refused to go to Schenectady, and the troops which 
Capt. Bull sent, only added to the security of the inhabitants, derived 
from the distance of Montreal and neighbourhood of the Mohawks. 


As soon as Leisler heard of the massacre at Schenectady, he sent 
a sufficient force to the frontier, and the Albany Convention imme- 
diately dissolved. 

According to the minutes, it was not until the latter part of Feb- 
ruary, 1GS9~9(), that a man from Schenectady brouglit the tidings 
of the destruction of that place. The fugitives say, that the French 
and Indians, after murdering the inhabitants of Schenectady, were 
marching to Albany. Messengers were sent down the river for 
assistance, but the snow and ice impeded travelling, and widi diffi- 
culty an Indian was sent towards Schenectady to discover some- 
thing of the enemy ; others. were despatched to the Mohawk castles. 
On the 10th, the mayor and convention, having learned the retreat 
of the French, order Captain Bull, with five men out of each com- 
pany, to Schenectady, to bury the dead ; and, if the Indians had 
come down, to join them in pursuit of the enemy. There is a list 
of GO persons killed, and 27 carried off prisoners. 

Measures for defence were taken uit this time, and for offence, 
against Canada. On the 15th February, die convention sent mes- 
sengers to the governours and civil audiorities of the colonies, to 
act in concert against the French, and among others, to New York. 
On the 24th of January, 1690, Bayard directed a prayer 
1G90 to the Honourable Jacob Leisler, Esq., Lieutenant Gover- 
nour of the province of New York, and the Honourable 
Council, which, in the most ample Jiianner, acknowledges the autho- 
rity of the man he had attempted to injure, and asks forgiveness. 
The petition " liumhhj sJwwcth. that the i)ctit'wncr oxul jn'isoner craves 
commiseration," acknowledging his great errour in disregarding 
the authority which he hereby owns. He prays for pardon and 
release from " dismal detention." He promises to behave him- 
self from henceforth with all submission. He says, he will " per- 
form whatever their honours, the lieutenant-governour and his 
council, shall adjudge." 

This address did not obtain his release ; and was followed by a 
second ; in which, he labours to excuse his conduct in respect to 
the endeavour to obtain the papers brought by Riggs. 

He says diat he wrote to the English government, from Albany, 
when Nicholson left New York, the last of INIay, and again in June; 
and having come to tow^n, in consequence of his son's sickness, and 
hearing of the arrival of INIr. John Riggs, with despatches from the 
king's ministry, he supposed these despatches were intended as 
answers to his letters, and therefore, in the absence of Nicholson, 
belonged to him, (Bayard) as a member of the king's council: and 
that his intention was, as soon as Mr. Stephanus Van Cortlandt 
should come to town, and the council should meet, to deliver die 
said letters to them ; " but the next morning, before (he council could 
meet, your petitioner was informed that the said packets were, upon 
demand, delivered toyoiu- honour." 

172 bayard's petition. 

From the above expression, and some others, it would appear 
that Van Cortlandt had come to New York about the time that 
Bayard did, and was secreted and at hand ; but upon the arrest of 
his companion, again fled to Albany. 

Bayard goes on to confess that "he has been so unhappy" as to 
be of opinion that the packets did not belong to his honour. Captain 
Leisler; and further, that in his letters to John West, he "has 
most unadvisedly and in his foolish passion, uttered his opinion in 
such severe and unbecoming expressions, to the degrading of your 
honour's authority ;" but he asserts that he never had a thought, 
directly or indirectly, to remove Leisler's " authority by force, or 
with any the least danger of bloodshed," but had determined to 
remain passive, until further orders from England. He begs Leisler 
not to remember "any of the particular disputes" which had been 
between them ; asks forgiveness and compassion upon his state, as 
he suffers from fever, and asserts that he shall ever pray, as in duty 
bound, for his honour, the Heutenant-governour, Jacob Leisler. 
How far these assertions comport with the unrelenting persecution 
which brought Leisler and Milbourne to the gallows, the reader will 
judge. Bayard was at this time sick in prison, and in irons ; and 
the remembrance of these sufferings would not allay his passions, 
when his party was triumphant. 

Already, part of the evils resulting from the opposition to Leisler's 
government, and from the neglect of England, had been experi- 
enced : and Bayard condoles with Leisler on the news of the 
destruction of Schenectady, and laments that he, the petitioner, 
should be accused of being the cause of Schuyler's opposition. He 
avers, that since leaving Albany, he had only written to Mr. Peter 
Schuyler and Mr. Livingston to thank them for civilities. He 
asserts, that the magistrates of Albany were zealous friends to Wil- 
liam and Mary ; but considered themselves as in no way subordinate 
to the city of New York. He acknowledges that this had been his 
opinion likewise ; for which, if he has done amiss, he craves pardon. 
He states that he and Van Cortlandt were called upon by the con- 
vention at Albany, for their contribution towards the defence of the 
province, and insinuates that he had no further agency in Schuyler's 
opposition ; but intended to remain quietly in Albany until the arri- 
val of a governour, or some specific orders from England. 

The accession of William of Orange to the throne of his 
father-in-law, at once involved England, and, of course, her 
dependencies, in a war with Louis XIV, and the adherents of 
James ; thus popery was arrayed against liberty and the protestant 
religion. The attention of William was principally directed to the 
war in -the Netherlands. The American provinces shared little of 
his attention. The consequences of this state of things cannot be 
understood without again referring to the history of Canada. 



Hostilities in America, notwithstavdnig thej)eace declared in Evrope 
— Affairs of Canada — Destruction of Schenectady, January 1690 
— Other French and Indian Wars — The open ojyjjosition to Leis- 
ler ^nit doivn — Leisler and the Govenwur of Connecticut jjlan 
an Expedition against Canada, which Jails — Causes — William 

We have seen that England and France had conchided, in 1687, 
a treaty, by which a peace was stipulated between the subjects of 
those countries in America. But neither the government ol" Louis, 
in Europe or in Canada, chose to consider the L-oquois as subjects 
to Great Britain. The Court of James II, was perfectly indiffer- 
ent on that head, appeared ignorant of the bounds of the English 
Colonies, cared nothing for their interests, blind to the designs of 
France on the western continent, and willing to promote the scheme 
of gaining power over those warlike tribes, by means of presents 
and Jesuits. 

The New England Colonies had been engaged in hostilities with 
various tribes or nations of the aborigines, which gave rise to a depu- 
tation of commissioners from the east, who met a council of the 
Iroquois, by appointment, at Albany, in September, 1689. The 
New England delegates wished to engage the Five Nations to de- 
fend them against the eastern Indians. Tahagadoris, a Mohawk 
sachem, the day after receiving the propositions, made answer. He 
repeated, by means of the Indian artificial memory, (a bundle of 
sticks, one of which is given in charge to the individual who is to 
remember one particular proposidon,) the whole speech of the dele- 
gation, and then replied to each part. The Iroquois would not 
engage in hosulides to protect New England, but assured the depu- 
ties that the tomahawk would be lifted against the French. 

Dongan had seen the necessity of holding the confederated In- 
dians of the Five Nations in the interest of his province. He had 
opposed the introducdon of the Jesuits among them, and claimed 
them as sidtjects of England. To this the savage republic objected 
— declaring that they were subject to no power ; they were free, and 
would maintain their liberty. But the injuries they had received 
from France, and their former friendly intercourse with the Dutch, 
made them a frontier wall between New York and Canada, impeding 
the progress in the great project of conquest conmienced by France. 

Father Charlevoix, the historian of New France, or Canada, 


represents Donj^an's opposition to the introduction of the Jesuits 
among the Iroquois, as a measure hostile to France ; and as these 
nations were not included by name in the peace between James 
and Louis, the Governour of Canada, M. De Nonville, had carried 
on a war against them, very little to his honour or the benefit of 
Canada. The revolution in England, and accession of William 
III, placed the two modicr countries in a state of war; and in 1689, 
M. De Nonville sailed for France, convinced that the only way to 
conquer the Iroquois was by the previous conquest of New York. 
Frontignac succeeded him, and immediately reinstated the fort of 

1690 This mode of subduing the confederates was adopted ; and 

M. De Frontignac, an accomplished soldier, and active as he 
was enterprising, being in the government of Canada in 1690, deter- 
mined to attack the English in their settlements, and prove to the sav- 
ages that their safety depended upon the power of France — that the 
English were too weak to protect themselves. By carrying fire 
and scalping-knife into the English settlements, both to the east and 
west, he was resolved to secure the confidence of the Indian nations, 
and fix them in the alliance of Canada, for the purpose of future 
conquest. Unfortunately, the dissensions in the province of New 
York, aided the plans of the French governour. 

M. Durantaye had command of the fort at Michilimackinack, and 
to streno-then that post and communicate to the commander intelli- 
gence of his accession to the government, M. De Frontignac sent a 
large convoy, with ammunition and arms, to be distributed to the 
Hurons and Ottawas, and such other presents as would secure dieir 
fidelity to him and arouse their prepensities to murder, to be directed 
by his will. 

Three war parties were prepared for three attacks upon the Eng- 
lish setdement. Each party was composed of Indians and French- 
men, equipped for the purposes of destruction, and commanded by 
officers of the regular army. The first was directed againt the pro- 
vince of New York. Father Charlevoix, whose account I will first 
follow, tells us that the leader hesitated whether to fall upon Orange, 
{by which name the French called Albany,) or upon Corlear, 
.(Schenectady,) first. 

The people of Schenectady appear to have been in a state of 
perfect security, although they knew of the existence of war between 
France and England, and of the previous attempts made by the 
Canadians to gain the alliance of the Five Nations. Perhaps the 
knowledge of the latter may have tended to lull them, as negotia- 
tions under die influence of Jesuits who acted as spies, were con- 
stantly going on ; and in January of this year the Iroquois sent a 
messenger to Quiddor, (Peter Schuyler,) Mayor of Albany, with 
assurances of their hostility to the French. They forwarded to him, 


as tokens, three tomahawks ; but this was understood only to pledge 
the Mohawks, Onondagas, and Senecas : the other two nations were 
still negotiating with Frontignac, who, by means of Mikt, a Jesuit, 
residing for the pretence of religious instruction among the Oneidas, 
had so far caused a want of unanimity among the confederates, that 
only three, instead of five tomahawks had been sent to Albany. 
The distance of Schenectady from Montreal, and the neighbour- 
hood of the friendly Mohawks, may have caused the security which 
proved so fatal. But a part of Captain Bull's Connecticut troops 
were in the place as a guard, and were prevented from keeping 

The force intended against the frontier of New York, was en- 
trusted to the conduct of M. D'Ibberville, who, having determined 
to fall on Schenectady, advanced with his French soldiers and In- 
dian allies over the frozen lakes and deep snows, through a silent 
wilderness, for twenty-two days, with great sufferings, but a perse- 
verance worthy of a better end. It appears from Charlevoix, that 
the French Indians were led or accompanied by an Iroquois chief, 
called the " Great Mohawk ;" and when the red and white savages 
had arrived within two leagues of the town, this Mohawk harangued 
the Indians. He had great influence, says the Jesuit, not only with 
the Indians, but the French, in consequence of service, character, 
and rdigion. He exhorted them to forget their fatigues and suffer- 
ings, in the prospect of revenge on the perfidious English, (the same 
term which the English have always made use of, when speaking 
of the French,) and added, that " they could not doubt the assist- 
ance of Heaven against the enemies of Gody Thus it is, that men 
in all ages blasphemously enUst the benevolent Deity, in their pro- 
jects of ambition, blood, and murder. 

As they approached the devoted village, they met four squaws, 
who instructed them in the best way of arriving secretly at the place. 
When within one league, a Canadian and nine Indians were sent 
to reconnoitre, who, on their return, reported that the inhabitants 
were resting in security, and unprepared for defence. The exces- 
sive cold determined the commander not to defer the attack, but to 
push on immediately. 

The Jesuit, Charlevoix, describes Schenectady as having, then, 
the form of a parallelogram. It was entered by two gates ; from 
which I infer that it was enclosed by a palisadoed wall. One gate 
opened upon the road to Albany, and the other on the side from 
Avhich the French and Indians were advancing. It w-as determined 
that Messrs. Mantet and Sainte Helene, with one division, w^ere to 
enter by the nearest gate, which the squaws had informed them was 
never shut. D'Ibberville and Repentigny, with their party, marched 
to the left, to render themselves masters of the Albany gate ; but, 


losing their way, they returned : so that the village was entered but 
at one place. 

It was now midnight — the gate open — no watch set, and the in- 
vaders found their way into the town undiscovered, about eleven 
o'clock on Saturday night. The leaders separated to reconnoitre 
all parts. Perfect silence was observed. They passed through 
the village without perceiving any movement. Returning, the war- 
whoop, " a lamaniere des scmvagcs,^' says the priest, was raised, and 
the work of destruction set about. Mantet found some resistance 
at a kind of fort, where the men were under arms. These may 
have been the New England men, sent by Captain Bull. But, 
forcing the door, all the English, except the commander, were put to 
the sword. A Frenchman of the name of Martigmj was wounded, 
in attempting to enter one of the houses ; but his companions, says 
Charlevoix, revenged him, by forcing the door and putting all within 
the house to death. All was massacre and pillage for two hours ; 
and then the French officers placed guards at the avenues to pre- 
vent surprise, and passed the rest of the night in regaUng them- 
selves and men. 

Mr. G. F. Yates, of Schenectady, in his account of this tragedy, 
says : " The slumbering inhabitants started from their sleep, be- 
wildered, frantick. Some hid themselves, and remained secure, 
until the flames drove them from their lurking places ; when they 
fell beneath the tomahawk, or were taken prisoners. Others ran 
half naked and barefoot into the adjoining woods, whence a few 
escaped, after extreme sufferings, to Connestigiuna and Albany, and 
others perished miserably on the way. Surprised, unarmed, and 
defenceless, resistance was in vain. Courage and cries for mercy 
were alike unavailing. The same fate awaited the craven and the 
brave. To some of the inhabitants, however, this assault was not 
altogether unexpected, and they had for some time previously taken 
the necessary precautions to prevent surprise. Among those who 
made a successful defence, and kept the foe at bay, was Adam 
Vrooman. Being well supplied with ammunition, and trusting to the 
strength of his building, which was a sort of fort, he formed the despe- 
rate resolution to defend himself to the last extremity; and if it should 
prove to be his fate to perish in the flames of his own domicil, to 
sell his own life, and that of his children, as dearly as possible. His 
house was soon filled with smoke. His wife, nearly suffocated 
with it, cautiously, yet imprudently, placed the door ajar. This an 
alert Indian perceived, and firing through the aperture, killed her. 
In the mean time, one of his daughters escaped through the back- 
hall door, with his infant child in her arms. They snatched the 
little innocent from her arms, and dashed out its brains ; and, in the 
confusion of the scene, the girl escaped. Their triumph here was, 


however, of short duration ; Mr. Vrooinaii succeeded in securely 
bolting the door, and preventing the intrusion of the enemy. On 
witnessing Mr. Vrooman's courage, the enemy promised, if he 
would desist, to save his life, and not set fire to his building. 
This promise they fulfilled, but carried off two of his sons into 

Charlevoix says, that the French commander ordered that 
the clergyman of the place should be sj)ared, as he wished to make 
hhu prisoner; but he was killed, and all his papers burned. " Le 
SieurCoudre, major de la place," (which I am obliged to translate, 
Captain Alexander Glen,) had saved himself by crossing the river, 
(where, by the bye he resided, at a place now called Clenville,) and 
prepared to defend himself with the aid of his servants and family ; 
but the French commanding officer sent him a summons by the 
*' Great Mohawk," with a promise of protection, if he would sur- 
render — no harm being wished to him — but friendship in return 
for kindness shown by him to several Frenchmen, on a previous 
occasion, when they had been prisoners to the INIohawks. Glen 
accepted the terms, which were strictly adhered to. 

The French historian says, that the officers destroyed all the rum 
or brandy, to prevent the Indians from drinking ; and that the 
houses were all burnt, except Mr. (jlen's and that of a widow, where 
the wounded Frenchmen had been placed. There were forty 
well built and furnished dwellings. Such plunder as could be car- 
ried off was preserved from the fire, and about sixty old men, 
women, and children, such as had escaped the first fury of the 
onset, were spared from the slaughter, as were about thirty Mo- 
hawks, found in the town, who were unharmed — to show, says 
Charlevoix, that the French only warred with the English. 

The INIohawk nation had four towns located in the valley of the 
Mohawk, besides a small village abo«ut one hundred miles west of 
Schenectady. These were called by the whites " castles," or 
fortresses, as they were all fortified. They were numbered ac- 
cording to their distances from Schenectady, the nearest being 
called " the first Indian castle." The aboriginal names were as 
follows ; — Cahanniaga, (probably the same as Caglmawaga,) Ca- 
nagora, Canajorha, and Tionondaga. The Indians of the three 
first castles were, during the enactment of the dreadful tragedy we 
have attempted to describe, absent on a hunting expedition to their 
western territories. Several days necessarily elapsed before the 
Tionondaga band was notified of the massacre by the messenger 
despatched for the purpose. On hearing the news, they hastened 
to Schenectady ; whence they sent a hundred of their young war- 
riours in pursuit of the enemy, who overtook them, and killed or 
made captive twenty-five of their number. The old chiefs re- 

VOL. I. 23 


inained to comfort the inhabitants, and assist them in burying therr 

I have, from the Albany minutes, detailed the movements of the 
convention, when the news of this event reached Albany. Schuy- 
ler, as quoted by William Smhh, says : " Those who escaped, fled 
naked towards Albany, through a deep snow which fell that very 
night, in a terrible storm ; and twenty-five of these fugitives lost 
their limbs in the flight, through the severity of the frost." 

Such was this dismal Sunday in Schenectady. About noon, the 
French departed with their plunder, on forty of the best horses they 
could find. The others, with the cattle, and human dead bodies, 
of every age lay slaughtered in the streets. 

The nearest JNIohawk castle* was not apprised of this event until 
two days after, owing to the messengers sent from Albany being 
impeded by snow. They promptly joined a party of young men 
from Albany in pursuit of the murderers, fell upon their rear, and 
killed or made prisoners five and twenty of them. The sachems 
of the Iroquois repaired to Albany, and persuaded the terrified in- 
habitants, who thought of abandoning their homes, to remain ; for 
their defence, promising their assistance against the French. 

Father Charlevoix informs us that the French forces were too 
near Oravgc, (Albany,) to remain long ; and at noon of the day 
following the massacre, the army departed, carrying their wounded 
companion, their booty, and forty prisoners. The same hard- 
ships and sufferings were to be encountered in their return through 
the snow-covered wilderness, and the want of provisions added to 
their misery, and retarded their retreat. Several died from hunger ; 
and we may suppose that the wretched prisoners did not fare better 
than their triumphant captors. They were obliged to separate into 
small parties, some of which were attacked by the pursuers, and the 
historian acknowledges the loss of three Indians and sixteen French- 
men ; whereas at Corkier, (Schenectady,) they only lost one of 

Such is the Jesuit father's account of the massacre of Schenec- 
tady. The victors reached Montreal on the 26th of March, after a 

* The Mohawks haclfoxir towns or castles and one small settlement on the banks 
of their river, which, as we know, flows through a valley of almost unparalleled 
beauty and fertility, until it falls into the Hudson. In 1077, Colonel Coursey esti- 
mated the Iroquois thus : Mohuwlis, iWO warriours ; Oneidas, '^00 ; Onondagas, 
350; Cayugas, 300; and Senecas, 1,000 ; making a total of 2,150 warriours. Du- 
ring the revolutionary war, the British rated them, Mohawks, 300; Oneidas, 150, 
(part of this nation being with the United States;) Tuscaroras, 200; Onondagas, 
300; Cayugas, 230; Senecas, 400. In 17L»4, an annuity of f 500 was distributed 
to the Iro(juoiswho remained in the United States, and the nations were thus nnirr- 
bertMl: Uncidas, 028 people ; Cayugas, 40; Onondagas, 450; Senecas, 1,780. 
The Mohawks, 300, were in Canada, as were 460 Oneidas. — (L)c Witt Clinton's 
Discourse before N. Y. Hist. Soc.) 


iTiarch of forty and odd days, enduring hardships and privations of 
the severest kinds — sufTcring miseries ahnost equal to dicir guilt. 
But tlie whole transaction is related with the applause of the priestly 
historian. He says it raised the French in the opinion of their 

Before I return to the sequel of Jacob Leisler's story, (to whom, 
of course, every misfortune of tlie province was attributed by die 
party in opposition,) I will continue the Indian war of the frontier 
a little furUier, taking Father Charlevoix as my guide. 

In May following, some Frenchmen and French Indians, led by 
the " Great Mohawk," ascended the Sorel, and taking their course 
for the country of the Iroquois, fell upon some wigwams, and made 
forty-two prisoners, among whom were four Englishmen ; and 
hearing that a party of English and Iroquois were approaching, they 
made off on their return. They stopped at the River of Salmons 
to make canoes, and in the evening, "while at prayer," says the 
Jesuit, they were discovered by a party of Algonkins and Abana- 
ques, (likewise French Indians, but unconverted,) who were going 
against the English setdemenls ; and mistaking these praying gen- 
tlemen for enemies, they fired uyton them, killed " the Great Mo- 
hawk" and seven Caughnawagas, besides wounding two " English 
slaves," before they found their mistake. 

The other expeditions sent out by Frontignac were successful, 
though not in so great a degree as that which destroyed Schenec- 
tady ; and the New England settlements suffered from his warlike 
enterprize. He Hkewise strengthened the fort at Michilimackinack, 
gained the Indians of that neighbourhood to his part : and die French, 
to keep alive their enmity to the Iroquois, and gratify their taste, 
having taken some of the Five Nations prisoners, gave one of them 
to their allies to be burnt. 

The Iroquois, however, continued faithful to New York, and 
obliged Frontignac to be incessantly on his guard against their war 
parties, showing their long established superiority in the art of man- 
killing, with other kinds of destructiveness, and the deep rooted 
enmity to Frenchmen implanted by M. Champlain and Louis le 
Grand. They attacked even the Island of Montreal : and, though 
repulsed, left their traces in blood and ashes. 

Frontignac, receiving intelligence from a half-breed, that the 
English and Iroquois had embarked in canoes upon Lake George, 
with an intent, again with greater force to attack Montreal by the 
way of Lake Champlain, prepared to receive them, by gaUiering 
great numbers of Indians on the island to aid his soldiers and the 
inhabitants. Again he repulsed his enemies ; but not before they 
had ravaged the settlements on the island, and in an attack upon his 
encampment, killed ten soldiers, eleven habi tans, 2ind retreated with 

180 leisler's administration. 

their prisoners, after slaughtering the cattle, burning the houses, and 
leaving other evidences of their prowess. 

The Iroquois having withdrawn, the French governour dismissed 
his allies with presents, and the gratifying assurance that he will ex- 
terminate their enemies, the confederates of the Five Nations. But 
the governour soon after received tidings that the Iroquois had 
attacked the French post above the Sault de St. Loi/is, and put to 
death the commander and his garrison. Another })arty had killed 
two officers, and letters arrived, informing him that thirty vessels 
had sailed from Boston with troops destined for the siege of Que- 
bec. This was the expedition commanded by Phipps, of which 
more hereafter.* 

I will now return to the affairs of the southern portion of the 
province of New York, and the story of Lieutenant-governour 

Jacob Leisler had been called to the direction of the province at 
a time, and under circumstances which required all the knowledge, 
address, and firmness of a veteran statesman ; and as w'e have seen, 
he brought to the task only the experience of a merchant of that 
day, and an honest desire for the welfare of New York, and the 
success of the protestant revolution of 1688. 

After the destruction of vSchenectady, in February, 1690, it ap- 
pears that the magistrates of Albany saw the necessity of acting in 
conjunction with Leisler for the defence of the province. Bayard 
and Van Cortlandt were in New York city, one in confinement and 
the other secreted. Livingston fled to Connecticut, and resided at 
Hartford, probably in consequence of the w^arrant issued by Leisler. 
But before the dispersion of the Albany Convention, Leisler wrote 
to the governours of several of the colonies, representing the situa- 
tion of New York, and urs-ino- a combination against Canada. On 
the 21st of February, 1690, soon after the letters by which the per- 
son in power was confirmed in it, Leisler sent Johannes Vermilye, 
Benjamin Blagge, and Jacob Milbourne, as commissioners, with 

* Chief Justice Smith, in his History of New York, gives an account of the mea- 
sures of the Iroquois and the war-parties of Frontignac, which nearly agrees with 
the above. He says that the Indians gave u]) the Frencli messengers to the English ; 
that their scouts harrassed the Canadian settlements ; attacked the convoy going to 
Michiliniackinack; and that one of the Iroquois prisoners taken by the French was 
delivered to tiieir Indians, who did not burn him, merely, to show their determined 
hostility to the Five Nations, but cat him. The destruction made by the Iroquois 
at the Island of Montreal is given principally from Colden. Lieutenant-governour 
Colden gives high praise to the warlike and statesman-like abilities of the Count 
De Frontignac. lie says the French Court chose the men best suited to govern 
their colonies : " the English seemed to have little regard to the qualifications of 
the person they sent" to rule "but to gratify a relation or a friend, by giving him 
an opportunity of making a fortune ; and as he knew that he was recommended 
with this view, his councils were chiefly em2)loyed for this purpose." Here we 
have the testimony of one who saw tlic actors behind tiie scenes. 

leisler's administration. ISl 

power to aofree with the commissioners of Connecticut on any mea- 
sures for the pubhc good ; and these gendcmen having proceeded 
to New Haven, addressed the Governour and Council of Connec- 
ticut, "and having a deep sense of the danger which Albany and 
the adjacent parts are in," requested that whatever men should be 
sent from Connecticut hereafter to Albany, might receive orders to 
obey the Lieutenant-governour and Council of New York in con- 
junction with the government of Connecticut, and pay no regard 
to the convention at Albany. They further request a consideration 
of the number of men to be sent and their maintenance — whether 
Massachusetts should not be consulted — and that j)ersons be ap- 
pointed to treat with the Iroquois. 

To this address, the Governour and Council of Connecticut 
answered that they sent Captain Bull and his soldiers to Albany in 
compliance with Captain Leisler's wishes and those of the people 
of Albany, for the seciu-ity of his majesty's subjects against the 
French. That being ignorant of any factions or divisions, which 
they now with sorrow learn, they decline any further interference 
or assistance, except to advise " the Honourable Captain Leisler 
and the governour at New York in present power" to take the most 
peaceable measures for a reconciliation with the Albanians, for the 
safety of the place, least it undergo the fate of " Shenegdage." 
And further, as Connecticut considers those " at Albany in present 
power well acquainted with the Five Nations, and greatly interested 
in them," they advise " as little altercations" with the Convention 
of Albany or interruption to their proceedings as is " meet," for fear 
of disgusting the Iroquois and prejudicing the public peace.* They 
desire Leisler to send to Albany his 120 soldiers, which he says are 
ready, as the occasions of Connecticut require the recall of her troops 
from thence speedily. They tell Leisler that as to the number of men 
wanted to protect Albany, he must judge for himself; " it hes in 
your province to do it, not ours." They tell the New York com- 
missioners that if they want the assistance of Massachusetts, it is 
their "work to obtayne it. They give their advice, "which at 
present may be sufficient." As to presents or treaties widi the 
Five Nations, it is not convenient for Connecticut to appear in 
the business, but the New York gentlemen may " act therein ac- 
cording to the order and instructions in the king's letter." This 
is concluded widi prayer, and signed, "John Allyn, secretary." 
A postscript is added in these words : " Gendemen : having seen 
his majesty's letter, in your hands, we do not see but the Albanians 
may find sufficient reason to comply with you in the same, when 
they shall receive due information therein." " These for the gentle- 

Letters on file at Hartford 


men commissioned by Captain Leislcr, of New York, Commander- 

To this, a reply is filed in the Secretary of State's office, at Hart- 
ford, as " Leisler's scolding letter.'''' It is dated March 1st, 1689, 
(which means 1690, New Style,) and addressed to the Honourable 
Robert Treat, Governour of Connecticut. It is from the Gover- 
nour and Council of New York, and signed by Milbourne, as sec- 
retary. They say that the commissioners, (naming them,) having 
been to Connecticut, and made proposals for the good of his majes- 
ty's provinces, they were not received in a manner either friendly 
or neighbourly ; but, on the contrary, their courtesy was answered 
" with coldness, contempt, and disdain." They accuse the Gov- 
ernour and Magistracy of Connecticut with having abetted and en- 
couraged the rebellion of the people of Albany, by placing forces 
under the orders of the convention — so called — and having re- 
fused to forbid their further proceeding. They state that they are 
assured that Connecticut, and especially John Allyn, had aided 
Sir Edmund Andros, to the injury of New York ; and formally 
declare the Governour and Magistrates of Connecticut the uphold- 
ers of rebellion, unless they order their forces at Albany not to obey 
the Albany Convention ; otherwise, they shall esteem said forces 
as enemies, and treat them accordingly. They require Allyn to be 
secured and proceeded against for his offences. 

On the 5th of March, an answer is made to this, which they call 
an " angry letter." And the Governour and General Court of Con- 
necticut say said letter is "stuffed with unjust calumniating charges ;" 
that they utterly abhor the diought of abetting rebels. That they 
did last summer send " conuiiissioners and soldiers to York, to 
countenance King William and the protestant interest," and not 
knowing of any division, complied with his, Leisler's request, and 
the urgent call of the people of Albany, and the Five Nations. 
They call the behaviour of Leisler and his council ungrateful. 
They say that they have advised the people of Albany not to con- 
tend, but to submit "to the present power in the province of New 
York, and unite as one man to oppose the common enemy." Allyn 
is ready to answer the charges made. They decline controversy, 
and subscribe themselves, " Your neighbours." 

On the same day on which the above is written, Leisler 
wrote to Governour Treat, or any other person in authority, saying 
that he is informed that Robert Livingston, " who by his rebellion 
hath caused great disorder in the province, by maintaining that the 
commissions given by Sir Edmund Andros and Colonel Dongan 
were good and still in force : and by opposing the forces sent 
by the government to defend the frontiers," had gone cast- 
ward, on pretence of raising sold?ers for the fronders, but in 
reality to obey the Albany Convention, — that Leisler has, there- 


fore, sent Lleiiienant Daniel Teniair lo pursue him willi a warrant, 
and desires the Covernour ol'Connccticnt to assist in securing said 
Robert. He further requests assistance by sea and land for the 
conquest of Canada and the encouragement of the Iroquois. 

Soon after the flight of Livingston it appears that the Albany 
Convention submitted. Leisler and Schuyler, with the Govern- 
ment of Connecticut, made strenuous preparation for tlie invasion 
of Canada, the Iroquois promising assistance. We shall see that 
this project of conquest was encouraged by the efforts which Mas- 
sachusetts was making to attack Acadie, and afterwards Quebec, 
with a fleet and army under Sir William Phipps. 

On the litli of A})ril, 1G90, the government of Connecticut in- 
formed Leisler that volunteers should be raised for his majesty's 
interest. They had ordered 135 Englishmen and SO Indians, if 
they could be raised, to be sent to Albany. They request Leisler 
to provide ammunition and provisions for them. 

Trumbull, the historian of Connecticut, informs us that on the 
Gth of May following, Could and Pitkin met commissioners at 
the city of New York, and the plan of an expedition against Ca- 
nada was ultimately formed : the quotas of the several colonies were 
fixed, and rules agreed upon for regulating the army. A vessel 
had previously been sent to ask succour from England ; but no 
attention was paid to the retpiest, although it is evident that the 
conquest of Canada, at diis time, could with ease have been effected 
by the aid of Great Britain, and her colonies by that means relieved 
from French and Indian depredations. 

Leisler had returned thanks to the Government of Connecticut 
for their offer of 135 Englishmen and SO Indians, and informed 
that colony that he had already sent uj) to Albany 300 barrels of 
pork, 200 bushels of peas, 600 "skippel" of Indian corn, 20,000 
pounds of bread, 100 bushels of salt, 150 deer-skins, for shoes, 
2,000 yards of osnaburgs, for tents, 3,000 pounds of lead, 105 
pounds of powder, and 260 men. He sent to Connecticut three 
letters of encouragement from Maryland, and informed the gover- 
nour that two sachems of the INIohawks had been to New York, and 
promised him more than 1,000 of the Iroquois to join with 400 of 
the colonial troops for the purposes of the war. Pie details a suc- 
cessful expedition of the French and Indians near Albany, which 
had encouraged the enemy ; but promises every exertion on the 
part of New York to procure success, calling upon Connecticut for 
every possible assistance. He says, he has a man-of-war ready, 
with 20 guns, and 120 resolute men, "commissioned for Canada." 

Among the letters of encouragement and friendship from INlaiy- 
land, is one from John Coodee, commander of his majesty's forces 
in Uiat province, in which he tells Leisler that a great design was 
on foot to betray and ruin the protc,-:lunt intercut in America, and 


that of William and Mary : one proof of which, was tlie attempt to 
disarm the protestants of JNIaryland, in the spring of 16S9, and the 
treacherous combinations of the late governour with the Indians ; 
which had caused the people of that province to stand to their arms, 
against the papists. He sends to Leisler a paper, in which King 
James commands the Marylanders to keep in union with the French 
of America, with other suspicious circumstances. He asserts his 
opinion that the "great men" of Maryland, with some of New 
York and New England, were engaged in a plot against the protest- 
ant interest, "as it was and is the endeavours of all the popish 

By these letters, which exist on file at Hartford, the reader may 
see the dread of the people of that day in respect to the designs of 
Rome, and the fears entertained of the influence of Louis, James, 
and the popish priests. Coodee mentions orders sent from William 
to Virginia, INIaryland, and Pennsylvania, to resist the attempts of 
the French. He promises to assist New York in the war, if he 
can, but says Virginia dechnes doing anything, without orders from 
William; and that Nicholson is on his way, as Governour of that 

Milbourne, who was at Albany, on the 27th of INIay, 1690, writes 
to Leisler, desiring him to "stay the ships," (apparently ready to 
sail for England,) for that he cannot come down (from Albany) 
"within so short time." He says, "yesterday, Jannetie and 
Christagie came with an express from Arnout, and a sachem from 
Onondaga, that the French send four of their own people, and four 
of their praying Indians, as emissaries." They bring with them 
"two of our Indians (an Onondaga and a Cayuga) which were re- 
turned from France," meaning, as I suppose, the French of Ca- 
nada. The Indian council, by messengers, have desired the dif- 
ferent nations of the Iroquois to send deputies to meet two or three 
men who understand French, for they will not listen to these emis- 
saries until such men from the colonists arrive. "Whereupon, 
Messrs. Peter Schuyler and Robert Sanders, MM. Gawsheren and 
Jean Rose, and two more, are this day despatched, with instruc- 
tions that they hasten with all possible speed," and instigate the 
Indians to treat these emissaries as enemies, either by securing them 
and bringing fthem to Albany, "or by slaying them outright;" 
which Christagie and Jannetie are resolved, on their parts, " and 
hope the rest" (of the Iroquois) " will agree to." He further 
writes, that "the French captain, who attacked Schenectady, is 
one," of these emissaries, "with some more noted persons," — "we 
have.sent to the Scaticock Indians also to be ready and resolute" — 
"we this day double the guards, and place Capt. Johnson's men 
without the town, at Renslaer's Mill." A band of Mohawks are 
sent to watch upon the lake. He laments that no forces from Ma- 


ryland or New England had arrived, "so that it is impossible to 
know the time of marching, unless we go without them." 

This letter of Milbourne's is forwarded, on the 30th, to Connec- 
ticut ; and, at the same time, a letter from the Governour and 
Council o( Connecticut is on the way to Leisler, dated the 28th, 
informing him that they have intelligence from Albany that there 
is great sickness among the people, soldiers and Indians ; that 
dysenteries are supposed to be caused by bad pork, and that the 
Indians are dying with small-pox. It is suggested whether the 
expedition shall not be stopped, until the issue of these distempers , 
be seen. About the same time, Leisler wrote to Governour Treat, 
urging the preparations against Canada, hoping the Connecticut 
troops would be ready to march with those of IVIassachusetts and Ply- 
mouth. He says, that he has been forced to seize all the pork found 
in New York, and a})propriate it to the army. He encloses a copy 
of the proposals made to the Indians and their answer. He says, 
that the gentlemen commissioners, on their arrival at New York, 
urged the government to " make up the number of 800 or 1,000 
men, by land," saying they had 800 by sea already, and that they 
would make it up 1,400 or 1,-500. They calculated. New York, 
400 by land, and 240 by sea ; Connecticut, 300 ; Maryland, 100 ; 
East Jersey, 50. This force was announced to the commissioners 
at Albany. But, subsequcndy, the gentlemen from Boston would 
not engage that their fleet should go to Quebec, unless successful 
at Port Royal, whither they were bound ; in that case, they believed 
they might be sent to Quebec. He says, he shall give orders that 
none march but such as have had the small-pox. 

The fleet from New York sailed the 26th May, 1*690, with orders 
to stop at Cape Ann, and send to Boston notice of their intent, and 
" if possible, to stop at Port Royal, to invite the Boston fleet along 
with them." The next day, Leisler writes to Treat, hoping that 
Major General Winthrop may be obtained for the command of 
the forces, and saying, he had sent a blank commission to Albany, 
to be filled up by the commissioners, but recommends Milbourne. 
He mentions the successes of Sir William Phipps, to the eastward, 
rejoices in them, and says he has intelligence that the French were 
fitting out eight ships of war, to conquer New York. Of the Indians 
mustering at Albany, one half were to march to Cadaraqui, to make 
canoes ; the remainder to go " the Canada path," and that the news 
of Phipps's victories will hasten them. 

The fleet, despatched by Lieutenant-governour Leisler from 
New York, was commanded by Captain William Mason. It con- 
sisted of a ship, a brigantine, and sloop, commissioned against the 
French, generally, but ordered to make the best w^ay immediately 
to Quebec, and there remain, doing all possible injury to the 

VOL. I. 24 


French, for a month, to co-operate with the land forces advancing 
by the lakes. 

It will be seen by the reader, that all these preparations for the 
attack of Canada by land, were encouraged by, if not founded 
upon the great armament fitted out by Massachusetts, and com- 
manded by Sir William Phipps. I shall make use of Mr. Francis 
Bower's biography of Phipps, and likewise of Charlevoix's history. 

William Phipps, a native of Maine, was born on February 2nd, 
1651, at Woolwich, on the Kennebec River. Left at an early age, 
without education, to his own guidance, he apprenticed himself to 
a ship carpenter, and, in 1673, removed to Boston and worked at 
his trade. His leisure hours were employed in learning to read 
and write, and he thus laid the foundation of future fortune on the 
sure basis of industry and the acquisition of knowledge. He was 
at this time an English baronet. 

Port Royal, the capital of Acadie, was the place from whence 
supplies flowed to the Indians, and where the French privateers 
found shelter. Thirty years the French had possessed this country, 
and Port Royal was defended by a fort. A blow was meditated 
by Massachusetts against this place. Forces were raised, and Sir 
William Phipps appointed to the command. With a small fleet, 
and seven hundred men, he undertook the conquest of Port Royal, 
and arrived there on the 11th of May. The French were unable 
to resist, and surrendered by capitulation. Before he returned from 
Port Royal, the House of Deputies resolved on the armament for 
the conquest of Quebec, and appointed Sir William the comman- 
der. A fleet of thirty-two vessels, with twenty-two hundred men, 
was ready by the middle of July. Disappointed in not receiving 
munitions of war from England, and destitute of pilots or seamen, 
acquainted with the navigation of the river, the fleet sailed from 
Nantasket on the 9th of August. It was not until the 5th of Octo- 
ber that they appeared before Quebec. 

Frontignac had been actively engaged in preparation to meet the 
forces advancing from New York, and arrived at Quebec, from 
Montreal, barely in time to prevent the capture of the place by 
"Guillaume Phibs," as the Jesuit calls him. The Massachusetts 
squadron, according to him, anchored before Quebec on the 16th 
of October, and the governour only arrived on the 14th. 

Phipps summoned the town to surrender, giving as the cause of 
his hostile ap[)roach, the barbarities of the French and their Indians, 
and demanded that every place and thing in Canada should be de- 
livered to their majesties of England, William and Mary. Fron- 
tignac replies, that he does not know William as king ; but only as 
Prince of Orange, as an usurper, a violater of the rights of his 
father-in-law, &c., and defies Phipps. Charlevoix then says, the 
English attempted to land, but were repulsed. They cannonaded 


the town without effect. Phipps then effected a landing, and after 
several skirmishes, re-embarked in the night, leaving his artillery. 

La Hontan, a French writer, who was on the spot, says, that 
had Phipps effected a landing before Frontignac arrived at Quebec, 
"or even two days afterwards, he might have taken the city without 
striking a blow — there being but two hundred regular troops in the 
place, which was open and exposed in every direction." 

Phipps delayed, and Frontignac actively prepared for defence. 
The messenger who carried the summons, was introduced bhnd- 
fold ; and the letter being read, the French general threw the paper 
in the face of the bearer, and gave as answer, that "Sir William 
Phipps, and those whh him, were heretics and traitors ;" adherents 
"to that usurper, the Prince of Oi'ange ;" but for whom, "iVetw 
England and the French had all been one f and that no other an- 
swer was to be expected, but "from the mouth of his cannon." 

Another day was lost before attempting to land, which was effected 
three miles below the town. The River St. Charles was to be 
crossed before they could advance to the attack. Major Walley was 
entrusted with the command on shore ; Phipps was to second him by 
a cannonade from the ships, and more men were to be landed, 
under cover of the guns, for an assault on the lower town. The 
next day a tempest baffled the plans of the assailants, and one of 
their vessels was driven ashore and exposed to the fire of the enemy. 
From this peril she was, however, rescued by the other ships. 

The Massachusetts force was now so far reduced by sickness, 
that they could only land, on the succeeding day, thirteen hundred 
men, and some of them unfit for the service. The weather was 
already cold, and the troops had to wade from the boats to gain the 
shore, chilled and dispirited. Near the place of landing, Frontignac 
had stationed a detachment of Rangers and Indians, in a bog, co- 
vered by a thicket ; these suffered Walley and his men to approach, 
and then poured in a fire which disconcerted them for a time ; but 
the assailants charged and drove the enemy from their covert with 
some loss. As the landing had not been effected until two o'clock 
in the afternoon, Walley found night approaching before he had 
gained the neighbourhood of Quebec, and the ammunition of his 
men nearly expended before the intended assault was commenced. 
He, therefore, halted for the night at a house and barn, near a vil- 
lage, which appeared on his right. By accident, the barn was 
burnt, the house could only shelter a few of the troops, night came 
on with a premature frost, and the soldiers were without shelter 
or food. 

While the land forces were thus suffering at a distance from the 
city, the ships were brought up, and again opened an ineffectual 
fire upon the lower town, where they expended the powder which 
Walley wanted for his troops on shore. The French returned the 


salute of Sir William gallantly, and forced him to drop down the 

When morning arrived, Major Walley found his men dispirited, 
starving ; some of them sick, and others frost bitten ; and, to add 
to his discouragement, received intelligence that the New York army 
having abandoned the enterprize, all the French force of Canada 
was concentrated in Quebec. That three thousand men were in 
the town, besides a large detachment posted in a swamp near his 
encampment, and that a battery had been raised which commanded 
the crossing place of the St. Charles. 

Walley neither attempted to force the passage of the river nor 
retreated to the ships ; but having received a very scant supply from 
them, continued skirmishing with the French Rangers that day, and 
the next, and leaving his men in their encampment, he went on board 
the commander-in-chief's ship, to consult on further measures. 
The major's account of obstacles, produced an order to return, 
and withdraw his men to the beach, to be ready for re-embarkation. 
The military operation of another day was defending the encamp- 
ment against the enemy, (now the assailants,) and in the night the 
invaders silently reti'eated to the beach where they had landed. 

The next day Frontignac pursued his disheartened adversaries 
to the water's edge, and Phipps did not dare to hazard bringing 
them off until night ; but withdrew the boats, after sending rein- 
forcements to check the French advanced force. At night the dis- 
comfitted troops were conveyed to their ships, leaving five field 
pieces in the hands of their triumphant opponents. 

Some more days were spent in contemplations respecting further 
attempts, which, if ever seriously intended, were prevented by a 
storm that drove the fleet out of the St. Lawrence. 

The return of the armament was as disastrous, as all the prece- 
ding operations were imbecile or unfortunate. The fleet was 
scattered by tempests. One ship was never heard of — another was 
wrecked — a third was burnt at sea, and four ships were blown so 
far from their route, that several weeks elapsed, after the arrival of 
Sir William at Boston, before they were seen or heard of. 

Louis XIV was so pleased with this repulse of the Massachusetts 
armament, that he caused a medal to be struck, which is engraved 
for Charlevoix's work. On one side is the head of the conqueror, 
Louis le Grand, with the inscription, "Ludovicus Magnus Rex 
Christianissimus ;" and on the other, a figure representing France, 
seated on trophies, and surrounded by the words, "Francia in Novo 
Orbe Victrix ;" at the bottom, "Kebeca Liberata." 

Let us now return to New York, from whence, on the 20th of 
June, Leisler wrote to Treat, upon hearing of the success of Phipps, 
at Port Royal, urging " the gentlemen of Boston" to undertake the 
conquest of Quebec, and offering Mr. John Winthrop the com- 


mand of all the troops prepared for the land service. Ten days 
after, no troops had arrived from Massachusetts or Plymouth, at 
Albany, neither had INIajor General Winthrop arrived. Report 
said, that Frontignac was advancing by the lakes, and had fitted 
out a French fleet, destined for New York. The latter threat 
was not performed, and the Governour of Canada awaited his ene- 
mies at Montreal, until he was called to Quebec, by the arrival of 
Sir William Phipps. 

On the 81st of .Inly, General Winthrop's instructions are given 
him by the Commissioners of New York, at Albany : they are 
signed by J. T>. Browne, Johannes Provost, and Jacob Milbourne, 
in which, the due distribution of plunder is not forgotten. 

Leisler wished to command the allied forces himself; but the 
influence of the Albany Convention prevented. He then wished 
Milbourne to command ; but Livingston and the Government of 
Connecticut prevailed: Winthrop was appointed, and the Lieu- 
tenant-governour of New York was obliged to thank him. Schuy- 
ler had the same influence over the Iroquois. Thus Leisler and 
Milbourne were completely in the hands of their enemies. 

It was late in August when Winthrop came to a full pause, at 
Wood Creek. By the letter of the Governour of Connecticut, 
dated, 23d of August, 1690, we learn that the general had written, 
informing the governour that he was then retarded by the failure 
of the Indians to accompany them and furnish them with canoes. 
Dissentions existed in the army. Treat seems to have had little hope 
from the expedition, except that it might distract the attention of the 
enemy, and aid Phipps, who had sailed from the bay with a great 
fleet. Mason hadjoined Phipps, and brought in several prizes. 

Charlevoix says, that sickness was one of the causes of Win- 
throp's failure ; certain it is, that he returned with his army to Al- 
bany — the men disheartened, discouraged, and discontented. 



Great Discontent in New York and Connecticut — Arrival of Cap- 
tain Ingoldshy, with troops — He joins the party of Bayard, Va?i 
Cortlandt, Livingston, etc. — His claims proiierly denied by Leis- 
ler — His outrageous proceedings — Sloughter arrives — Leisler is 
seized, and after a mock trial, is executed, loith his son-in-law. 

1690 The retreat of an army is, at all times, pregnant with disorder 
and suffering : the retreat of the provincial army of Winthrop, 
which had marched with the prospect of conquest, and retreated with- 
out seeing an enemy, or coming within many miles of the country 
intended as the scene of fame, subjugation, and plunder, was pecu- 
liarly deplorable. Sick, and scantily supplied with necessary food, 
to toil through such a wilderness as lay between Wood Creek, 
flowing into Lake Champlain, and the frontier town of Albany, in 
1690, was evil enough, without the aggravation of disappointed 
hopes and sectional dissensions. The two secretaries of New York 
and Connecticut, Milbourne and Allyn, had long been at sword's 
points. The officers of the allied forces threw the blame of fail- 
ure, of course, on each other. Both would join in censuring the 
Iroquois, who again felt contempt for the boasting white men, and 
proportional reverence for the power of France. Yet France had 
failed no less, in her intended conquest of New York, than the Co- 
lonies of England had done, unaided by the mother country, in 
the attempt upon Canada. 

Leisler had fitted out a fleet — had sent to Sir William Phipps 
the first ship of war fitted out by New York — had raised and pro- 
visioned an army, considerable for that day, and the resources of 
the colony he governed. To do this, taxes had been imposed, « 
collected with rigour, and private property seized, perhaps from 
necessity ; and had the expedition been successful, the advantages 
to the province would have been incalculable, and the plaudits of 
all men would have crowned the government of Jacob Leisler. 
But all had failed ; the province was exhausted ; the enemy tri- 
umphed and threatened : and every ill was attributed to his dis- 
honesty or incapacity. 

With an honest intent to remedy these misfortunes and grievan- 
ces, as I see no reason to doubt, the Lieutenant-governour of New 
York proceeded to Albany, there to meet the discomfitted army of 
the Connecticut general, who arrived on the 27th of August. 


It appears, that Leisler was biassed by the representations of Mil- 
bourne and others of New York ; and ahhough Winthrop had, as 
commander-in-chief, with the advice of his officers in council, re- 
treated, the Governour of New York arrested him and the Con- 
necticut commissary, and put both in confinement. This drew from 
the Governour and Council of Connecticut a letter, dated Septem- 
ber 1st, 1690, addressed to "the Honorable Jacob Leisler, Esq.," 
without addition, or other title, in which they say, that the tidings 
of these arrests are very grievous to them. That the knowledge 
and confidence in Mr. Winthrop's many virtues, caused that inter- 
cession which induced him to accept the command of the army ; 
which confidence is not impaired by Leisler's suspicions of him. 
That if the retreat from Wood Creek "be the matter" which 
offends the Lieutenant-governour of New York, they think the 
commission given by Leisler justified that retreat, made with the 
advice of Winthrop's council of war. That this conduct of Leis- 
ler's, will prevent Connecticut from joining with New York, in the 
measures necessary for future operations. That, by this act, he 
has disobliged all New England ; nor is a prison " a catholicon for 
all state maladies, though so much used by" Leisler. They attri- 
bute Leisler's proceedings to Milbourne. They advise an imme- 
diate release of Winthrop and the commissary, and threaten to make 
Massachusetts acquainted with Leisler's proceedings. 

On the next day, the 2d of September, the Governour and 
Council of Connecticut address another letter, of the same import, 
to Leisler, but in a more gentle style, and direct it to him as " Lieu- 
tenant-governour of the Province of New York." They require to 
know the reasons for the major general's confinement, " if any such 
be," that they, as confederates with New York, may assent or not 
to Leisler's proceedings. They say all New England is concerned 
in his vindication, and, by arguments, enforce their first request or 

Without detracting from the high character of Mr. Winthrop for 
virtue, I am of opinion that there had been at that period, and have 
been since, men, who, having led an army to Wood Creek, which 
falls into Lake Champlain, and is the commencement of water com- 
munication, leading directly to the enemy, would have found some 
means, by building battcaux, or otherwise, of accomplishing the in- 
tended attack. One-third of August, and all the fine autumnal 
months were before him for action. He knew that the armament 
of Phipps and that of New York were to co-operate, by distracting 
the attention of the French ; that Frontignac, with an inferiour 
force, awaited him at Montreal, and having there concentrated his 
powers, Quebec was left with weak defence. If the land army from 
New York had been successful, or only occupied Count Frontignac, 
and the French and Indians up the river, Quebec might have fallen 


into the hands of the Massachusetts armament, and a junction of the 
EngUsh provincial forces would have wrested Canada from France. 

The success of the expedition against Canada would have 
exalted Leisler in the opinion of America and England. His 
enemies, the rich and influential men of New York city and 
Albany, would have been proportionably cast down. These 
men almost commanded the Iroquois ; and, by their intrigues 
with the Indians, relied upon the means of ruining the expedition, 
which, though of immense benefit, if successful, to the province and 
all English America, was death to their hopes and predictions. 
Upon the failure, Leisler returned to New York, to meet obloquy, 
discontent, and the accumulated evils which the faction had it now 
in their power to heap upon him. 

On file, at Hartford, will be found the Lieutenant-governour's 
answer to the Governour and Council of Connecticut, dated, the 
30th of September, 1690. In this, he asserts, that violent dissen- 
sions had arisen between the New England captains and the New 
York officers before the arrival of General Winthrop ; which he 
attributes to the friends' of the Albany Convention, and enemies of 
his government. He accuses Winthrop with siding with Secre- 
tary Allyn and Robert Livingston, and proving himself a very dif- 
ferent man from the representations which induced him and the 
commissioners of New York to place him at the head of the army. 
He says, Winthrop was directed by Connecticut not to proceed to 
Canada without the Iroquois, and more than insinuates, that they 
were rendered unfaithful by the intrigues of Livingston, and that 
faction. He accuses Winthrop of declaring his army unequal to 
the intent, without the troops of Massachusetts and Plymouth, 
(which did not join,) and, after arriving at Wood Creek, of influ- 
encing the council of war to their return, only sending forward a 
small detachment, widi a party of Indians. He says, the success 
of this detachment (of 30 whites and 150 Iroquois, in destroying 
the enemy's cattle, taking or killing 28 of the French, burning dwel- 
ling houses and barns,) proved, that with only 150 more men, they 
could have taken Montreal. He accuses W^inthrop with being in- 
fluenced by Allyn, Livingston, and the faction opposed to the estab- 
lished government, and expresses his surprise, that such a person 
should be considered an honour to New England. And in a se- 
cond letter, dated January 1st, 1691, calls for atrial of Winthrop, 
by the colonies of New England. In this letter, he reiterates his 
charges, and says, he has long waited an answer to his proposal, 
that Connecticut should empower commissioners, to meet those of 
New York, at Rye, to consult on the means of defending Albany. 

Trumbull, the historian of Connecticut, tells us, that Winthrop 
had been released from his confinement by a party of Mohawks, 
who bore him off in triumph to his own troops. Yet it was the 


failure in performing the promises of these Indians that was the 
ostensible reason given for Winthrop's retreat. 

That it would have been of great service to the Colonies if this 
expedition against Montreal had succeeded, is very apparent ; but 
it is no less apparent that success would have strengthened the 
lieutenant-governour of New York, made him popular with the pro- 
vince, and raised his credit in England ; while those who had opposed 
him, under the name of the convention of Albany, would have sunk 
in proportion ; the representations sent to England by Livingston, 
Bayard, Van Cortlanclt, and the rest, would have been contradicted, 
Leisler's ruin prevented, and their nomination to the council pre- 
vented, perhaps their ruin sealed. Such being the consequence 
of success, it is, perhaps, not too much to believe, that the gentry, 
" the people of figure," though no longer acting as the Albany Con- 
vention, did, by thwarting Leisler's measures, and holding back the 
Iroquois, defeat the expedition, and turn back General Winthrop. 

There is a letter on file at Hartford, dated from New London, 
October the 6th, 1690, from General John Winthrop to Go- 
vernour Treat, calling for vengeance on Leisler for the insult 
of the arrest; in which Winthrop plainly says, that when he 
accepted the command and went to Albany, he was referred for 
advice, by Treat's instructions to the gentry who had formed 
the Albany Convention. He says, "the most considerable gentle- 
men of Albany accompanied him as counsellors to the whole ma- 
nagement of the design." These were the persons to whom he 
was referred by Governour Treat, and these were the persons 
whose credit depended upon Leisler's scheme, and the expedition 
failing. These gentlemen guided the Iroquois, and could thwart 
every effort of Leisler. The Iroquois " demanded delay," says 
Winthrop. Canoes were not ready. Livingston repaired to Win- 
throp's camp, and had, without doubt, seen and conferred with him 
before he went to Albany. The gentlemen of Albany concurred 
with Winthrop's council, that the army could not proceed to Canada ; 
he marched back, and Leisler was rendered the disgraced and 
unpopular thing that the "people of figure" wished to represent 

That General Winthrop was deceived by the Albany Conven- 
tion, to whom he was recommended by Treat, and by those 
persons whose importance, credit, and perhaps safety, depended 
upon thwarting the measures of Leisler and Milbourne, is my opin- 
ion : not that the general, the son and grandson of the two distin- 
guished .John Winthrops, was a traitor to the expedition he had con- 
sented to lead. He was exonerated by Governour Treat and the 
New England provinces, and afterwards governed the province of 
Connecticut. But that Jacob Leisler, who was ruined by the re- 
treat, and could not penetrate the councils of those who thwarted 

VOL I. 25 


him, should be enraged agamst the commander, was natural, though 
perhaps not commendable. 

Peter Schuyler was a brave soldier, and honest in his intentions. 
It is much to be lamented that he did not see that the welfare of the 
province demanded his co-operation with Leisler. 

From an early day in June, 1089, Leisler, first by the call of 
the people of the city of New York, and the inhabitants of Long Isl- 
and, which then constituted in itself the greater part of the pro- 
vince, ruled with unquestioned authority, until Captain Ingoldsby 
arrived, with a company of foot, from England, in the latter days 
of January 1691, and demanded the surrender of the fort to him- 

I must here remind the reader, that the gentry, consisting of 
Nicholson's council and the leading men of Albany, as soon as 
they found that Andros had been put down in Boston, and William 
and Mary proclaimed in England, likewise declared for the revolu- 
tion : and whatever might have been the event, if James had re- 
mained on the throne of England, and his creature, Andros, had 
succeeded in subverting the charters, and carrying into effect the 
bigot-tyrant's will, in the colonies, the convention at Albany, and the 
governour's (or his majesty's) council, loudly declared for the pro- 
testant religion, and King William HI. But they declared still 
louder against the freeholders of the province, for taking up arms 
and putting their trust in a merchant of the city of New York, a mere 
captain of militia, who had, with them, placed himself in opposition 
to Andros, Nicholson, and the sworn council, under James' govern- 

The two parties awaited the decision of William's ministry. 
A governour, appointed by that Jci7ig whom the people of Eng- 
land had chosen, was expected. The arrival of orders, and 
a ruler from England, was needed, that the province might be 
united. But William of Orange had the great game of war to 
play on the continent of Europe, against the usurpations of popery 
and Louis XIV, as well as in Ireland to subdue the adherents 
of James, assisted by the French king. We cannot then won- 
der, that a distant province was neglected. Yet, the commis- 
sion of Sloughter was dated the 4th of January, 1689 ; but still, 
in January, 1691, Lieutenant-governour Leisler knew nothing of 
the appointment, and was only notified by Ingoldsby, a captain of 
foot, in a peremptory demand for a surrender of the fort and pro- 
vince to him — bearing no commission but that which authorized 
him to discipline and command his company. 

The arrival of Ingoldsby, and his information that Sloughter 
had been appointed, was hailed with joy by Bayard, Van Cort- 
lajidt, Livingston, Phillipse, and their party. They rallied around 


the English captain of foot, and brought forward all the discon- 
tented in their train. 

During Leisler's administration, war had been felt throughout the 
province. His efforts against the enemy on the frontiers, and the 
expedition against Canada, had been paralyzed by the opposite 
party. He had been obliged to raise money, by taxes and loans, 
which had turned many of the people against him ; and, in the gene- 
ral joy at the approach of a kuig^s goverjiour, as announced by In- 
goldsby, Leisler was blamed for not surrendering his government, 
at the first summons, from a man who bore no letters or orders from 
the ministry. 

The residence of the licutenant-governour was in the fort. The 
fortifications in every part of the city had been repaired by Leisler ; 
and within the fort was the governour's house, the Dutch Church, 
(then the only place of worship,) and the barracks. In this fortress 
the families of the commander and of his son-in-law, Milbourne, (we 
must presume,) resided. Notwithstanding the general peace of the 
southern portion of the province, and some successes at sea against 
the French commerce, the government of Leisler was now unpopu- 
lar; and the accession of Ingoldsby, with his audacious behaviour, 
countenanced by the former mayor and council, was approved by 
the people — who now wished a change, and were willing, gene- 
rally, to be guided by the leaders of the party who were again coming 

into power. 
1691 It appears, that Captain Richard Ingoldsby arrived at 

New York, in January, 1691, in the ship Beaver, the same 
vessel which carried over to England, Nicholson and Ennis. Im- 
mediately seized upon by the gentry, with whom an officer, bear- 
ing the king's commission and livery naturally assimilated, Ingoldsby 
demanded the surrender of the fort, under pretence, in the first in- 
stance, of finding quarters for his soldiers. He was made acquain- 
ted with the posture of affairs ; and having announced the appoint- 
ment of Colonel Sloughter, as governour of the province, Leisler 
requested to see his commission, or order, from the ministry or the 
governour : at the same time, the mayor tendered to Ingoldsby 
quarters for his majesty's troops. This did not satisfy the "people 
of figure," and, in the captain's name, the magistrates, or justices 
of Long Island, were called upon to assist his majesty's officer in 
enforcing his commands. 

Whereupon, Leisler published a proclamation, to this effect : 
" Forasmuch, as Major Richard Ingoldsby, without producing any 
order from his majesty. King William, or from Governour Slough- 
ter, has demanded possession, etC:, — not being satisfied with the 
accommodations for himself and the forces under his command, 
twice tendered to him, (in the City Hall,) until further orders shall 
arrive, but has issued a mandate, dated the 30th January, 1691, to 


the magistrates of Long Island, calling upon them to assist In ful- 
filling his commission, I do, by and with consent of my council, 
military officers, and others, in behalf of the king and queen, protest 
against the proceedings of said Ingoldsby. And further, the gover- 
nour warns him, at his peril, not to attempt any hostility against the 
king's city and fort." 

This proclamation is headed, " By the Lieutenant-governour 
and Council;" but it is plain, that though in possession of the fort, 
power had departed from Leisler : otherwise, his majesty's lieuten- 
ant-governour would have shown it otherwise than by words. In 
fact, Ingoldsby, directed by the party, and his feehngs of superiority 
over a Dutchman and a provincial, had landed his soldiers, and 
besieged the fort. He likewise blockaded Leisler by sea, Avith the 
armed ship in which he had arrived with his troops from England. 

The fears of the introduction of popery, which might honestly 
have influenced the conduct of Leisler and the people of New York, 
at the commencement of the revolution of 16SS, had ceased; but 
the resentment of those who had been suspected oraccused of being 
papists or favouring the designs of Dongan, Andros, and James, was 
increased by recent disgrace and suffering. 

It has been observed by Robertson, the historian, that popery, in 
its very genius, is "averse, at all times, to toleration," and that it 
was, in the early stages of the reformation, " fierce and unrelenting ;" 
and no less fierce and unrelenting was the enmity of the aristocracy 
of New York, on the return of power, towards Jacob Leisler. He 
must have known his peril, and that it proceeded from " the gentry," 
the "people of figure," who had cut so poor a figure since the flight 
of Andros and Nicholson. His hopes must have been placed on 
William, whose cause he had advocated, and whose standard he had 
raised against James. The arrival of Sloughter must have been 
looked for anxiously, as that which would relieve him ; for, as yet, 
he could not know that the expected representative of majesty was 
even more likely than Ingoldsby, to fall into the views of, and be di- 
rected by his enemies. Sloughter was a man, described by a king's 
officer, as, "licentious in his morals, avaricious, and poor."* He 
was one of those governours who, according to Lieutenant-gover- 
nour Golden, were sent hither "to gratify a relation or a friend, by 
giving him an opportunity of making a fortune." Sloughter was the 
very man that Leisler's opponents might wish for : ignorant, brutal, 
needy, and vicious ; — yet to his arrival Leisler must have looked 
for safety. 

On the last day of January, die besieged lieutenant-governour 
issued an order to the civil and military officers of the colony, for- 

* Thief Justice Smith, of Canada. 


bidding them to heed the proclamations of Ingoldsby, but, accord- 
ing to their oaths, or their commissions, given by him, the lieuten- 
ant-governour, as authorized by King WiUiam, to call forth all the 
forces under their respective commands, both horse and foot, and 
to be in readiness, completely armed, to obey the orders of the lieu- 
tenant-governonr aforesaid. 

The next day, Ingoldsby answers, by proclamation, Leisler's 
protest and order, of the day before, which, he says, is "pernicious 
and dangerous to their majesties." He professes, that what he 
does, is to prevent outrages by those persons Leisler " calls" his 
soldiers. He says, " I know not how you will answer the firing 
a shot at my men last night, when they were coming on board."* 

By this, we see that Ingoldsby's soldiers, although landed by 
day, and probably keeping a watch by night on shore, still had 
their quarters on board the ship Beaver, in which they had crossed 
the Atlantic. 

On the second day of February, Leisler sent a letter to Ingolds- 
by, saying, that he had examined into the circumstance of the shot 
fired at the king's soldiers, and finds that it is a fact. He adds, 
that if the captain will point out any injury done, justice shall fol- 
low. "None," says he, "under my command shall be counte- 
nanced in an ill action." He likewise desires to know, in what 
manner he can better accommodate Captain Ingoldsby. But, on 
the same day, February 2d, Ingoldsby issued a proclamation, assu- 
ring the inhabitants that he had come to protect them, all reports to 
the contrary, notwithstanding. 

On the 3d of February, the lieutenant-governour notified the 
inhabitants, by a proclamation issued from fort William, that Colo- 
nel Sloughter had been appointed governour of the province of New 
York; and that, on his arrival, the fort and government should be 
cheerfully surrendered to him. "In the meantime, his honour, 
Major Richard Ingoldsby, having a considerable number of his 
majesty's soldiers under his command, for the service of the colony, 
which, at the present, cannot be otherwise accommodated than in 
this city, until his excellency appears," therefore, the inhabitants 
are commanded to receive Major Ingoldsby, and all his people, 
with "respect and affection." 

To show the distinction which Leisler made, and wished to im- 
press upon the people, between this officer, commissioned by King 
William, and the former council and magistrates, who had been 
commissioned by Dongan and James, he addressed the inhabitants 
again on the following day, saying, that Ingoldsby having demanded 
possession of his majesty's fort, without showing any order from 

* MSS. in Historical Society's Library, for all the documents quoted. 

198 leisler's proceedings. 

king, queen, or governour, therefore it is not to be surrendered ; 
but that several offers have been made to that officer, for the acco- 
modation of himself and his followers, which have been refused, he 
still continuing to demand the surrender of the fort. The lieutenant- 
governour then continues thus — " The Major, by flagitious coun- 
sellors, who to carry on their accursed designs of mischief, and 
gratify their revengeful spirits, (depending upon his majesty's gra- 
cious indemnity for their said crimes, which already have been, and 
may be, committed before the arrival of his excellency,) the said 
Major Ingoldsby, by such pernicious instigation, hath presumed to 
levy forces by his own authority, pretending commisssion from his 
majesty, (and likewise has dignified himself by the sovereign title of 
us,) by which means, sundry outrages are committed by persons 
who have been instigators, ringleaders, and promoters of mischief; 
who have opposed the necessary taxes for supporting the present 
war, (against the French,) and do encourage the inhabitants to take 
up arms, to the disturbing his majesty's peaceable subjects." There- 
fore, he, the lieutenant-governour, again declares that Ingoldsby 
shall have accomodation for himself and soldiers, and for others 
who may come, until the governour shall arrive, or orders be re- 
ceived for surrendering the fort ; which he promises to do, on the 
arrival of Sloughter, or such orders as shall justify him in the act ; 
but he commands all persons, on their peril, not to obey said In- 
goldsby, and w'arns him to desist from his illegal proceedings. 

These paper-shot made no impression upon Ingoldsby and his 
advisers ; but, by them, we learn that the former council, the former 
mayor, and their other adherents, were prevailing ; and that Capt. 
Ingoldsby w^as arming the people, under pretence of authority so to 
do from the king's government : for again Leisler, on the 5th of 
February, repeats his warnings to the captain, and strictly forbids 
all persons, pretending any authority from Ingoldsby, to raise forces 
and quarter the same upon his majesty's subjects, or to commit any 
violence. Such forces as had been raised, are commanded to 
disperse and return to their homes.* 

During this time, Leisler was besieged in the fort by the troops 
Ingoldsby brought with him, and such as the faction could prevail 
upon to take up arms against him. A portion of Leisler's men, 
about one hundred, who had possession of a block-house, (two or 

* On the 6th of February, at a meeting of the worshipful mayor and common 
council, in the City Hall, "(Ooenties slip,) present, P. De la Noy, Mayor, Major 
de Brown, (or Bruyn,) Captain Duykinj;, Cornelius Pluvier, Johannes Provoost, 
Captain Silurtolpherts, Lieutenant P. Van Brugge, Lieutenant Paul Turk, Ensign 
de Mill, Ensign Peter White, and David Provoost, with the Secretary, Jacob Mil- 
bourne ; certain resolutions were passed, stating many of the facts already re- 
counted, viz., permitting the troops to be quartered in the City Hall, provided 
that thereby there should be no hindrance to the usual courts of judicature, &c. 

leisler's proceedings. 199 

more of which strengthened the paUsadoed wall, which extended 
across from river to river, on the north side of what is now called 
Wall-street,) were several times summoned to surrender, and finally 
did so, upon promise that they might retain their arms. They were, 
however, disarmed and dismissed. 

On the 5th of March, which was probably seven weeks after the 
arrival of Ingoldsby, Leisler held a meeting of his council at Fort 
William, the proceedings of which are before me. There were 
present, the lieutenant-governor, Jacob Leisler, Peter De la Noy — 
the first man that ever was elected by the freeholders and freemen 
of New York to the office of mayor — Thomas Williams, Hendrick 
Jansen, Johannes Vermilye, Samuel Staats, Johannes Provoost, 
Jacob Mauriz, and Robert La Cock. The paper begins thus — 
*' By the lieutenant-governor and council, in pursuance of his ma- 
jesty's letter, bearing date the 5th of July, 16S9, for governing 
this province until further orders," &c., "their majesties' interest 
hath been asserted and defended, the peace of the province pre- 
served, until the arrival of certain ships, with soldiers and ammuni- 
tions, under the direction of his excellency. Colonel Sloughter," 
appointed to govern the province, "but separated at sea ;" by 
which, it would appear, that Ingoldsby's ship, or ships, were part of 
a fleet which sailed at the same time with Sloughter, and that he had 
been wandering on the high seas seven weeks longer than the com- 
mander of his land forces. 

The lieutenant-governour's council go on to state the demand of 
Ingoldsby for the surrender of the fort, though he bore no com- 
mission but that of a captain of foot, "with orders to obey the gov- 
ernour for the time being." They state, as above recited, the 
acts of Ingoldsby, by which the city had been disturbed, the inha- 
bitants insulted, by " papists and other profligates ;" and that In- 
goldsby had undertaken to call out, command, and superintend the 
militia of the city, and had otherwise insulted the lieutenant gover- 
nour, although cautioned and warned against such practices. The 
council finally protest against Ingoldsby and his confederates, and 
order them to desist from their attempts to destroy the peace of the 
city and province. 

On the file at Hartford is found, a note to Colonel Robert Treat, 
from M. Clarkson, the secretary of the pretended king's Council of 
New York, saying, that being " directed by the gentlemen named 
of their majesties' council of Nevi^ York, to give you account ot the 
present state of affairs here, and to desire the advice of your honour 
and others of the government of their majesties' colony of Connec- 
ticut," he forwards a certain order, not to be found ; " and because 
it hath been thought by many prudent persons in this city, that Capt. 
Leisler hath had very particular advices from your parts, I am the 


more hopeful that nothing shall be wanting within your power, for 
their majesties' service, etc." 

Upon the receipt of this note and the order, Mr. Treat sum- 
moned a council, and they addressed a letter for Captain Jacob 
Leisler, in the fort, at New York, dated Hartford, 11th of 
March, saying, that hearing from Mr. Clarkson by order of the six 
gendemen named, of the troubles between him and Ingoldsby, and 
asking their advice, they accordingly, inasmuch as Governour 
Sloughter is expected daily, advise Leisler so to demean him- 
self, " as may noways violate their majesties' subjects peace," and 
to refer all matters in dispute to his excellency on his arrival. And 
they hope to hear of his dutiful compliance, "which will prevent 
any further trouble" to them. On the same day, the governour 
and council of Connecticut, wrote to " the Honourable Mr. M. 
Clarkson, secretary of his majesty's province of New York," " for 
his majesty's special service." They tell him that they have been 
" much rejoiced in the news of their majesties' pleasure," to make 
Colonel Sloughter governour of New York. That they are grieved 
to hear, " that those honourable persons named of his excellencies 
council, with the soldiery, obtain no better treatment with Captain 
Leisler." That they have advised Captain Leisler, as by the letter 
to him, which they enclose open, and desire may be sealed and 
delivered as may be ordered, " by the honourable gentlemen of the 
council." They apologize for being mediators, as Leisler's late 
dealings with them, had not found " acceptance with them." They 
apologize, likewise, for former connection with Leisler, and hope 
they shall not be called upon by his rashness, but shall do their 

Again on the 16th of March, the lieutenant-governour and coun- 
cil, address the people by proclamation, and recapitulate Ingolds- 
by's demands, asserting the intention to resign the fort and govern- 
ment to any one authorized by the king to receive them. They 
assert, that Ligoldsby and his ringleaders had interrupted, and con- 
temned the mayor's court — had controlled the city milida — had 
endeavoured to provoke the governour of the fort to hostilities, by 
eight several times in one night, causing soldiers to pass and repass 
the works — that he had misrepresented the words and acts of the 
government, and had imprisoned and beaten inhabitants, for doing 
lawful acts — that he had entertained declared papists in arms, who 
insult the inhabitants, and put them in fear of their lives, when doing 
their duty in the king's service — that he interrupted and forbade 
the lieutenant-governour's officers " to proclaim an order by beat 
of drum, as was customary, or to pass by the City Hall, being the 
usual place for the same." The order so prevented was for seve- 
ral persons, as well officers as others, deserters from Albany and 
Esopus, to show cause for quitting their posts. They state, that 


Ingoldsby entertains the said deserters, to the injury of the king's 
service — had caused spies to enter the fort for the purpose of be- 
trayin"' the pUice by niglit — had made prisoners of certain senti- 
nels, and had prevented wood and other necessaries from being 
carried to the fort, and otherwise conducted as in time of war. 

They further declare, that certain gentlemen, calling tliemselves 
of the king's council, have encouraged Ingoldsby in all these things, 
"directing tlicir orders unto officers commissioned by the authority 
of the late King James," which officers have, inconsequence of 
such orders, levied forces for the designs of Ingoldsby and the said 
nominal council, who call such as oppose them, rebels. They as- 
sert, that Ingoldsby, having demanded the keys of the gates of the 
city, and being refused, had buist the locks, and proceeded against 
the block-house of the city, as if he was waging war with his ma- 
jesty's subjects. Other hostile acts are detailed, as well as prevent- 
ing the receipt of monies granted by the house of assembly for pay- 
ing the forces on the frontiers, by which, the soldiers placed at Al- 
bany might be constrained to desert that post. 

'i^he council conclude this, the last proclamation issued by them, 
with asserting that their opponents, who, in the reign of the late 
K-ing James contributed to the encouragement of papists and priests, 
acting by the authority of the said king until he was dethroned, were 
the same who now endeavour to injure those who prevented their 
designs, " Wherefore, we, not being willing to deliver ourselves 
and our posterity to such slavery, do hereby resolve, to the utmost 
of our power, to oppose the same, by joining and assisting the lieu- 
tenant-governour, and one another, to the hazard of our lives." 

They assert, that they will not be turned from their duty to God 
and the king, by fear of the term " rebels" hurled against them, for 
fairly offering that all things should remain until the arrival of the 
governour, or further orders from England. 

And they feel themselves constrained to declare, that the said 
Ingoldsby and his confederates are "enemies to God, the present 
magistrates, and the peace of the province," while they continue 
their present proceedings. They, therefore, command them to 
disband the forces they have raised ; and all persons are ordered, 
at their peril, to keep the peace. 

The genUemen of the former council assembled " at the State 
House," (meaning, I suppose, at the City Hall,) on the 17th of 
March, and issued a proclamation, signed "M. Clarkson, secre- 
tary," denying the assertions of Leisler and his council. They say, 
that "they are desirous that there be no manner of hostilities" nor 
bloodshed between their majesties' subjects, but that "the people 
in arms, which have voluntarily assembled themselves in defence of 
their majesties' forces" should remain in peace until the arrival of 
his excellency, or further orders. They say, that if this proposal is 

VOL. I. 26 

302 rloughter's arrival. 

not accepted, they attribute all mischief to " the said Captain Leis- 
ler," or such as shall commit hostilities. 

From this, it appears that the confederates were somewhat 
daunted by the last proclamation of Leisler, and the long detention 
which Sloughter experienced, of whom they made sure as a friend 
and ally : but all their anxiety was relieved by his arrival, and the 
publication of his commission, on the 19th day of March, 1691. 

I have before me the copy of a minute of Sloughter's Council, 
held on March the 19th, ^^ upon the arrival of Htnnj Sloughter,''^ 
governour, etc. — at which were present, with said Sloughter, Jo- 
seph Dudley, Frederick Phillipse, Stephen Van Cortlandt, Gabriel 
Monville, Chudley Brooke, Thomas Willet, and William Pin- 
home. It is here stated, that Sloughter repaired to the Town Hall, 
where he published his commission, and took the oaths appointed 
by act of parliament to be administered to him. 

From this, we see that he was received by the party, (probably 
on ship-board,) and immediately embraced the measures of In- 
goldsby and the confederates. As soon as he was installed, he 
forthwith ordered Ingoldsby, with his foot-company, to de- 
mand entrance into the fort : he returned, and brought with him 
one of Leisler's officers, (the same Ensign Joost Stoll, who had, in 
1689, been the first to take possession of the fOrt, in the name of 
William, and had subsequently borne Leisler's despatches, with the 
account of the revolution in New York, to the English government,) 
and this officer was admitted to the governour's presence. The 
minute of council informs us that Ensign Stoll brought a letter from 
Captain Leisler, and was told by his excellency that he was glad Stoll 
" had seen him in Eno;land, as well as now in New York," adding, that 
Major Ingoldsby should now go with his company a second time to 
receive the fort into possession ; and that the soldiers, laying down 
their arms, might go every man to his house. Further, " that be 
expected Leisler, Milbourne, and such as called themselves the 
council, to innnediately attend ; and that Colonel Bayard and Mr. 
Nichols be dismissed from their imprisonment to attend his majesty's 
service — being appointed members of the council." 

By this, we know that Bayard, who had most humbly petitioned 
Lieutenant-governour Leisler for release from the prison at the City 
Hall, had been removed to the fort, and was still in confinement. 

The copy of the minute proceeds : " Major Ingoldsby, at his 
second return, brought with him Milbourne and De La Noy ; and be- 
ing inquired of for Colonel Bayard and Mr. Nichols, informed that 
Leisler refused to make any attendance himself, or to dismiss the 
said gentlemen." 

*' Whereupon, Milbourne and De La Noy were ordered to the 
guard, and the major again sent to demand the said gentlemen's 


dismission, with Leisler's surrender of the fort, and attendance upon 
his excellency — all which was peremptorily and with contempt 
refused." Upon which, the governour "directed the sitting of the 
council" next morning. 

It will be remarked, that this refusal to obey, " with contempt," 
is the report of Ingoldsby : and it will be seen that on the re-assem- 
bling of the council, so called, next day, Bayard and Nichols are 
present and are sworn in. 

Before I proceed with the record which the king's or Sloughter's 
council have left of their summary proceedings, I will call the atten- 
tion of the reader to the letter from Leisler to Colonel Sloughter ; 
only premising that Leisler was a Dutchman, and that he attempted 
to write to the acknowledged governour in English — a language 
he did not understand — as is very apparent in this ofi'er to surren- 
der the fort, and apology for holding it after the arrival of Sloughter. 
It will be recollected that the English secretary, Milbourne, was not 
with Leisler. It is well known, that the Dutch of New York, most 
of them, knew no schoolmaster, but such as was sent from Holland 
long after this. 

The letter is dated March 20ih, 1G91, at Fort William, and is 
as follows : " May it please your excellency, this, his majesty's 
fort, being besieged by IVIajor Ingoldsby, so far as that not a boat 
could depart, nor persons conveyed out of the same, without to be 
in danger of their lives, which has occasioned that I could not be so 
happy as to send a messenger to you to give me certainty of your 
excellency's safe arrival, and an account of what was published, of 
which I am ignorant still ; but the joy I had, by a full assurance 
from Ensign Stoll, of your excellency's arrival, has been somewhat 
troubled by the detention of the two of my messengers. I see 
here well the stroke of my enemies, who are wishing to cause me 
some mistakes at the end of the loyalty I ow' e to my gracious king 
and queen, and by such ways to blot out all my faithful service till 
now : but I hope to have cause not to commit such error ; having 
by my duty and faithfulness being vigorous to them. 

" Please only to signify and order the major, in releasing me from 
his majesty's fort, delivering him only his majesty's arms and all the 
stores, and that he may act as he ought with a person who shall 
give your excellency an exact account of all his actions and con- 
duct ; who is, with all the respect, your excellency's most humble 
servant, Jacob Leisler." 

According to appointment, Sloughter and his friends met on the 
20th. The minutes say nothing of the above letter. His majesty's 
letter was read, ordering the council to be sworn as such, and in the 
order above written, which was done : consequently, they had acted 
at the previous meeting without taking the oath to the king's govern- 


Then, twenty-nine papers were delivered to the secretary, from 
their majesties, relative to Leisler, which had been sent to England 
from Albany. Bayard and Nichols appeared, were sworn of the 
council, and took their seats ; and then Jacob Leisler was brought 
in prisoner, and ordered to be committed to the guards, and the 
king's letter, directed to Francis Nicholson, or the person admin- 
istering the government, was taken from him. 

Likewise were brought in prisoners, and committed to the guards, 
"Abraham Governeur, Gerardus Beekman, William Churcher, 
Cornelius Pluvier, Henrick Janse Van Boerton, William Law- 
rence, Thomas Williams, John Coe, Mynders Coerlen, Robert 
Leacock, and Johannes Vermille."* 

Thus we see Jacob Leisler brought in to his enemies a prisoner, 
and turned over to the guards, on the same day that the above letter 
was written. 

The Honourable William Smith, late Chief Justice of Lower 
Canada, in his History of New York, says, " if Leisler had deli- 
vered the garrison to Colonel Sloughter, as he ought to have done, 
upon his first landing, besides extiuiruishing in a great degree, the 
animosities then subsisting, he would, doubdess, have attracted the 
favourable notice both of the governour and the crown. But be- 
ing a weak man, he was so intoxicated with the love of power, that 
though he had been well informed of Sloughter's appointment to 
the government, he not only shut himself up in the fort with Bay- 
ard and Nichols, whom he had before that time imprisoned, but re- 
fused to deliver them up, or to surrender the garrison. From this 
moment, he lost all credit with the governour wdio joined the other 
party against him. On the second demand of the fort, Milbourne 
and De La Noy came out, under pretence of confering with his ex- 
cellency, but in reality to discover his designs. Sloughter, who 
considered them as rebels, threw them both into gaol. Leisler, 
upon this event, thought proper to abandon the fort, which Colonel 
Sloughter immediately entered. Bayard and Nichols were now 
released from their confinement, and sworn of the Privy Council. 
Leisler having thus ruined his cause, was apprehended, with many 
of his adherents, and a commission of Oyer and Terminer issued to 
Sir Thomas Robinson, Colonel Smith, and others, for their trial. 

" In vain did they plead the merit of their zeal for King William, 
since they had so lately opposed his governour. Leisler, in parti- 
cular, endeavoured to jusdfy his conduct, insisting that Lord Not- 
tingham's letter entitled him to act in the quality of Lieutenant-go- 
vernour. Whether it was through ignorance or sycophancy, I 

* I transcribe these names, which are evidently mis-spelt or mis-wvitten — as names 
at that time generally were. 


know not: but the judges instead of pronouncing their own senti- 
ments upon this part ol' the prisoner's defence, referred it to the 
governour and council, praying their opinion, whether that letter 
' or any other letter, or papers, in the packet from White Hall, can 
be understood, or interpreted, to be and contain, any power, or di- 
rection to Captain Leisler, to take the goveri ir.ent of this province 
upon himself, or that the administration thereupon be holden good 
inlaw.' The answer was, as might have been expected, in the ne- 
gative ; and Leisler and his son were condemned to death for high- 
treason. These violent measures drove many of the inhabitants, 
who were fearfid of being aj)prehended, into the neighbouring colo- 
nies, which shortly after occasioned the passing an act of general 

I fear that it would appear as an insult to the reader, to point out 
the fallacy of this statement, after laying before him the above docu- 
ments. Sloughter published his commission, by outcry, at the City 
Hall, Coenties' slip, on the ISth of March — Leisler being besieged 
in the fort — and immediately on being installed, the governour 
sent Ingoldsby, the man who had illegally blockaded the fortress, to 
demand entrance. Leisler promptly sends an officer to ascertain 
the report of Sloughter's arrival and assumption of the government. 
This officer is sent with a peremptory demand for the surrender of 
the fort to Major Ingoldsby and his soldiers. 

Leisler now saw that Sloughter acted by the prompting of his 
inveterate enemies, and like a prudent man wished to obtain a pro- 
mise from Sloughter of at least personal safety ; he therefore sent 
his son-in-law, Milbourne, and the mayor of the city to the gover- 
nour, who immediately makes them prisoners. IJpon Leisler's 
refusal to surrender the fort, (and as he then knew, his life,) into 
Ingoldsby's hand, Sloughter adjourned his friends to the next day, 
and when they met, appointed them, and swore them into office as 
his council. This same day Leisler, by letter, and personally, 
surrendered the fort and government to Henry Sloughter and his 
council, not until then qualified to act as such. 

Mr. Smith, asserts, that from the moment of shutting himself 
up in the fort with Bayard and Nichols, (which took place -months 
before Sloughter's arrival,) he, Leisler, lost all credit with the go- 
vernouf, who joined tlie party against him. If we suppose the 
historian to mean, that from the moment of refusing to surrender, 
when Ingoldsby was sent on the 19th of March, then Leisler '* lost 
all credit, &c.," it is equally absurd, for it is plain that Sloughter, 
by the advice of Ingoldsby and the gentlemen who received him, 
had determined to treat Leisler as a rebel from the moment of his 

It was not by any act of the unfortunate Leisler, that he " ruined 
his cause," as Smith asserts. The hands of hb enemies had been 


Strengthened by the falhire of Winthrop and Phipps, and then by 
Sloughler's arrival. Thus Leisler had fallen (without hope, ex- 
cept in the justice of his cause, which they had prejudged,) into 
their power completely. 

At thij same meeting of the council on the 20th of March, 
(which was the day they were sworn in,) the governour appointed 
John Lawrence, mryorof the city, and Thomas Clark, coroner. 

On the 23d of March, the governour met his council at fort 
W'llViam Hmtij, the same persons being present, except Bayard. 
The minutes of this, Sloughter's first council in the fort, inform 
U3, that Messrs. Dudley, Van Cortlandt and Brook, w^ere appoint- 
ed a committee "to examine the prisoners, in order to their com- 
mittal from the guard-house to the common prison." The secre- 
tary, and attorney-general, were directed to attend this com- 

By this, we see, that Jacob Leisler, an elderly and respected 
merchant, who had raised the standard of William and protestant- , 
ism, in 1639, and governed the city and province by the choice of 
the freeholders and the authority of the English ministry, for near 
two years, with all the above named gentlemen, had been kept from 
the 2Uth to the 23d of March, confined in the guard-house, before 
Sloughter and his council find time even to examine them. The 
next day, the 24th, the council again met, and ordered " that there 
be a special commission of Oyer and Terminer, directed to the 
judges whom his exceltenaj will forthwith name,^^ which judges, with 
"Sir Robert Robinson, Colonel William Smith, W^illiam Pinhorne, 
John Lawrence, Captain Jasper Hicks, Major Richard Ligoldsby, 
Colonel John Young, and Captain Isaac Arnold, are appointed to 
hold a court for the trial of the prisoners accused of murder and 
rebellion, and their accomplices ;" " and theij or any of them, one 
of the judges always being one, to preceed in the same court." 
It is perhaps worthy of remark, that all these names are English or 
Scotch ; and most, if not all, held commissions as officers. 

On the 30th of March, seven days after these gentlemen had 
been removed from the guard-house to the prison, (i. e. one or 
more of .the apartments in the city hall, or town house, which was 
the place for the me3ting of magistrates, holding of courts, and 
confining prisoners,) the council again met at the fort. Bayard be- 
ing present, but the governour not; and Messrs. Bayard, Van 
Cortlandt and Pinhorne, were appointed a committee for pre- 
paring evidences against the prisoners ; and Mr. William Nichols, 
Mr. George Farewell, and Mr. .Tames Emmett, are assigned as the 
king's counsel in that affair. 

Before a court thus constituted, Leisler was arraigned, but refused 
to plead. He said he was not holden to plead to the indictment, 
** until the power be determined whereby such things have beea 


acted." His friends asserted, that it was for his majesty to 
declare whether the power under which he acted was legal ; that 
his authority remained good until the king determined other- 
wise : that although Hendrick Jan^en, Cornelius Pluvier, and 
Robert Le Cock, were committed for the same pretended crimes 
of murder and rebellion, they had been admitted to bail forthwith : 
that if Leisler pleaded to the indictment, the king might accuse 
him of " giving away his right ;" that by pleading Leisler would 
empower the jury to judge of the fact ; " how, they ask, can twelve 
men of one county, judge of the government of die whole pro- 
vince f"' 

The trial, however, proceeded as had been determined ; and it 
was insisted that Nottingham's letter entitled Leisler to act in the 
quality of lieutenant governour. 

On the 13th of April, the governour and council being met, the 
judges submitted the question as above, and the council decided in 
the negative. 

Leisler and Milbourne being condemned to death, as rebels and 
traitors, remained in diis condition until the 14th of May, on which 
day, 1 find by minutes of council, present, Sloughter, Phillipse, Bay- 
ard, Van Cortlandt, Nichols, and Mienville, the following entry : 
" The clamour of the people coming daily to his excellency's hear- 
ing, relating to the prisoners condemned for treason and murder, 
and having had the opinion of the major part of the representatives 
now met and assembled,* for the execution of the principal offen- 
ders, he was pleased to offer to this board his willingness to do what 
might be most proper for the quiet and peace of the country, intend- 
ing speedily to remove to Albany." Sloughter therefore demands 
the opinion of the council, (who were urging him incessantly to 
hang Leisler and INIilbourne,) whether delaying the execution, 
might not be dangerous at this juncture ."^ They, in answer, una- 
nimously resolve that "/or the sfifisfacfio)), of the Ivdians,''^ and for 
asserting the governour's authority, preventing insurrections and 
discords, it is necessary that the sentence be executed. 

Still, it appears that Sloughter feared both to exasperate the friends 
of Leisler, and incur the displeasure of William 111, or his minis- 
ters, if he put to death, as rebels and traitors, the men who raised 
the standard of the Prince of Orange and protestantism, in 
opposition to James and popery. He hesitated ; but the anti- 
presbyterian faction was determined on the destruction of the 

* JamesGrahame was a leading man in tliis assenidly, anb particularly anxious to 
produce the executionof Leisler and Milbourne. He is accused of having tampered 
v/ith the friends of these victims, for the purpose of procuring a seat in the house of 
representatives, and was afterwards elected speaker. — See Letters of Lord Bella- 
Diont, in N. Y. Hist. Lib. 


men who had baffled and put them down, and perliaps were insti- 
gated by fear as well as revenge ; " they there'bre," as Smith 
tells u?, " when no other measure^ could prevail with the governour, 
invited Sloughter to a feast, on occasion of his intended voyage 
to Albany, and, when his exccUencij^s reason was drowned in his 
cups, the entreaties of the company prevailed with him to sign the 
death warrant ; and before he recovered his senses the prisoners 
were executed." 

Leisler and ]\Iilbourne suffered death as traitors, on the IGth of 
May, 1G91 ; and if the above statement of Chief Justice Smith is 
correct, the council must have met early in the day ; for I find a 
minute of that date, saying that the house of assembly, on the 15th, 
gave their approbation, signed by "James Grahame, speaker," to the 
resolution of the council of the 14th. 

This execution must have taken place while the populace was 
overawed by the soldiers of Ingoldsby and Sloughter, and while the 
judges and members of his majesty's council were keeping the 
governour in a state of intoxication. Leisler, at the place of exe- 
cution, after praise to God, expresses his sense of his dying state, 
submits and prostrates himself before his Redeemer with hope. He 
acknowledged, that at the request of a committee, chosen by the 
major part of the inhabitants of the province, he had taken upon 
him ("to the great grief of relations to be left behind,") weighty 
matters of state "requiring more wise, cunning, and powerful pilots 
to govern" — an undertaking, for which his motives were the pro- 
testant interest, and the establishment of the present government of 
William and Mary. He confessed, that in this endeavour for the 
public good, several enormities had been committed against his will. 
He professed that he had longed to see a governour sent, to put a 
period to the disorders existing: some of which, on his part, were 
committed through ignorance — some through jealous fear that dis- 
affected persons would act against the government — some through 
misinformation and misconstruction of people's intentions — and 
some through rashness or passion, which would require more time 
than is now permitted. For every offence, he asked pardon ; Jirsf, 
of God, and then of all persons offended. He prays that all malice 
may be buried in his grave, and forgives the most inveterate of his 
enemies. He repeats, " Father, forgive them, they know not what 
they do." He begs of his friends and relations to forget any injury 
done to him. He prays for the good of the province, and, as his 
last words, declares, that as to the matter for which he is condemned, 
his purpose was for the good of his fellow-creatures, according to 
the understanding and ability which he possessed, by preventing 
popery and upholding the government of William and Mary. He 
concluded a prayer for all in authority, by one for comfort to the 
family to which he did belong. For his afflicted family, he asks the 
charity of all, and their prayers for himself. 


Being asked by the sheriff, " If he was ready to die?" he an- 
swered, " Yes," He desired that his corpse might be delivered to 
his wife, and as his family had been educated as Christians, he 
hoped they would act as such. Saying he did not fear death, he 
turned to Milbourne and said, " Why must you die ? You have 
been but as a servant, doing my will : and as I am a dying man, I 
declare before God and die world, that what I have done was for 
King William and Queen Mary, the defence of the protestant 
religion, and the good of the country." Having again professed his 
reliance upon God, he said, " I am ready ! I am ready !" 

Leisler's son-in-law, Jacob Milbourne, seems not to have died 
with so much humility ; for seeing Mr. Livingston, who, it will be 
remembered, was not one of the council, he said to him, " You have 
caused my death ; but, before God's tribunal, I will implead you 
for the same." The sheriff having asked him whether he would 
not bless the king and queen ? he answered, " It is for the king 
and queen I die, and for the protestant religion."* 

The rain descended in torrents upon the prisoners and the crowd. 
The faintings and screams of women were seen and heard in every 
direction when this fatal scene was terminated by death. What a 
contrast does it present to this gloom, wailing, and horrour, when 
we recollect that the enemies of these citizens were carousing in 
beastly triumph and drunkenness. 

The records of a province would appear to many as beneath the 
dignity of history, although that province was the germ of a mighty 
state. The revolution effected by the burghers of New York, when 
they raised the standard of William of Orange, and the protestant 
religion, has heretofore appeared as an undignified subject for the 
historian. This same phrase, " the dignity of history," is, in my 
sight, as heretofore upheld, very contemptible and mischievous. 
Robertson apologizes to his reader for descending from the dignity 
of history, when he dwells on the character and fate of David 
Rizzio : but the contemptible Darnely, the ruffian Bothwell, the mur- 
dress and adultress Mary, are all with him, and most others, fit sub- 
jects for the historic muse. 

The true dignitij of history is derived from truth. It is evident 
that every event, though true, is not fit for the historian ; but no act 
or person, however poor or low in life the actor, is beneath the 
dignity of history, if the relation of it elucidates subsequent trans- 

* The Reverend Doctor S. Miller states, (of course, as tradition,) that when 
Leisler was executed, " the shrieks of the people were dreadful — especially the 
women — some fainted, some were taken in labour ; the crowd cut off pieces of his 
frarments as precious relics, also his hair was divided, out of great veneration, a« 
for a martyr." — MSS. 

VOL. 1. 27 


actions or characters, and is a link in the great chain of insstrucfionf 
which constitutes the philosophy of history. 

Jacob Leisler, a simple burgher and merchant, becomes a digni-' 
fied object, when the choice of his fellow burghers, freeholders of 
New York, place him as their commander-in-chief, in opposition to 
the lieutenant-governour of the tyrant and bigot James, for the pur- 
pose of preserving civil and religious liberty. Party, which is in- 
dispensable to popular government, may be said, if not to have 
had its birth at the time in New York, at least to have taken its 
" form and pressure" as it exists in this day. We see in that party 
of which Leisler was the head, the germ of our present democratic 
representative government. 

Ebeling, the Dutch historian of New York, gives a more impar- 
tial account of the transactions of this time, and the fate of Jacob 
Leisler, than is given by William Smith, the Chief Justice of Ca- 
nada. With Ebeling's view of the subject, and a few remarks, I 
shall close the chapter. 

On the surrender of the fort, Leisler, Milbourne, and others 
who had formed the council, were imprisoned and immediately 
tried by a court of Oyer and Terminer, appointed by the gover- 
nour, instigated by the enemies of Leisler, who again formed 
the court. The fallen party were arraigned as murderers and trai- 
tors. Li vain they reminded the court of their zeal for William 
and Mary — in vain Leisler denied the authority of the court : any 
consideration and any humiliation would not have satisfied his ene- 
mies ; and it appears that he stooped to none, but justified his con- 
duct. Dudley was the presiding judge. Leisler and Milbourne 
were sentenced to die as rebels and traitors. Had James been 
king, they might have incurred the same fate, for treason against 
him. Ebeling, in his history, says, that after the sentence, " the 
whole matter was laid before the king ;" (i. e. before William III,) 
but by whom ? By those who had determined to sacrifice him to 
their private views and passions. The assembly that had been 
convened, were persuaded that the misfortunes of the province, 
were all attributable to Leisler and his friends, and that assembly 
pressed for his execution. Sloughter feared to exasperate the 
people, who still adhered to Leisler. The governour thought of 
proroguing the assembly to Albany. Leisler's friends were cla- 
mourous on account of his long imprisonment, and at the sentence 
passed upon him by the opposite party, who feared that if the gover- 
nour and assembly removed to Albany, the people of New York 
would liberate the prisoners, and, therefore, pressed the more for 
immediate execution. Sloughter called, says Ebeling, " a par- 
ticular council of both houses. Li this council, he was urged and 
pressed to execute the sentence speedily." Sloughter is said to 


have been unwilling. Was he not fearful ? The historian, Ebe- 
lin'^, says, "when every thing else failed, he (Sloughter,) was made 
drunk, and the execution took place, May 17." Every thing 
proves that Leisler was condemned unlawfully, and executed un- 
justly. Afterwards, the act of attainder was reversed. This was 
done at the instance of young Leisler. Gouverneur,* and all the 
others, except Milbourne, were released. 

It has been the policy of men of all ages, to preserve the memory 
of the founders of the nation they claimed as their own. It serves to 
perpetuate nations. Rome, the eternal, bears the name of its reputed 
founder. The founder of the Democracy of New York, was Jacob 
Leisler: and New York is now an empire — founded upon demo- 
cracy. The line, that says, " An honest man is the noblest work 
of God," has been received as a truism. And Jacob Leisler was 
truly an honest man, who, though a martyr to the cause of liberty, 
and sacrificed by injustice, aristocracy, and party malignity, ought 
to be considered as one in whom New York should take pride — 
although the ancestors of many of her best men denounced him as 
a rebel and a traitor. If an honest man is the noblest work of God, 
Leisler was a great man — and all agree that the fame of the great 
men of a nation, is that nation's most precious inheritance. 


Retrospect — First Assembly under Sloughter*s government — Cana^ 
dian affairs — Slaughter'' s death — Ingoldsbij, Governour, pro tern 
— Schui/ler attacJcs the French, at La Prairie — Indian wars — 
Richard De Peyster — Fletcher, Governour — Confirms the aris- 
tocratic council — Caleb Heathcote — His family — His mode of 
enforcing religious exercises on Lojig Island, — Fletcher is guided 
by Peter Schuyler — Count Frontignac — Wars loith the Iroquois 
— Great cxjtedition against them. 

1691 In 1664, as we have seen, the province of NewNetherland 
was surrendered to the English, and became New York. 
The inhabitants, generally, were glad to exchange the Dutch pro- 
vincial mode of government for what they knew and what they 

* Abraham Gouverneur was a French Huguenot. He married the widow of Mil- 
bourne — of course, the daughter of Leisler. The name of Gouverneur remainji 
among u.s, and is made a second time distinguished, by the union with that of Morris. 

213 sloughter's administration. 

hoped from the EngHsh system. Until 1683, (with the trifling 
interruption by the directorship of Colve, or surrender for a few 
months to the Dutch, in 1673,) New York was governed by what 
are known as the duke's laws, meaning James, Duke of York.* 

The assembly which met in 1691, (whose laws were the first 
considered valid by the publishers of 1752,) consisted of James 
Graham, William Merritt, Jacobus Van Cortlandt, and Johannes 
Kipp, for the city and county of New York. Derick Wessells and 
Levinus Van Schayk, for Albany. Elias Dukesbury and Dally, for 
Richmond. John Pell, for West Chester county. Henry Pier- 
son and Matthew Howell, for Suffolk. Henry Beekman and Tho- 
mas Garton, for Ulster and Duchess. John Bound and Nathaniel 
Persal, for Queens. Nicholas Stillwell and John Poland, for Kings. 

" The members for Queens county," says Smith, "were after- 
wards dismissed, for refusing the oaths directed by the governour's 
commission. "t 

It was this assembly that recommended itself to the infamous 
Sloughter and his council, by declaring that all the evils which had 
befallen the province, were to be attributed to the usurpation of 
Jacob Leisler, and accordingly joined with the council in urging 
his execution. 

The address of the assembly to Sloughter is one of the most 
abject expressions of crawling servility, that I remember. They, 
" in the most humble manner," congratulate him. " From 
the bottom of their hearts," they declare, that none " can or 
ought to have right " to govern the province, but by that 
authority " now placed in his excellency." Their lives and 

* The government of the Dutch, generally, in New York, was wise, and, of 
course, just, in regard to the aborigines. They selected some of the best bottom 
lands for cultivation, but recognizing the Indian right to the soil, they gained the 
consent of the Indians, and purchased for what was of equal value in the eyes of the 
original proprietors. The European wanted the soil for cultivation — the Indian 
did not — and a blanket to preserve him from cold, and fire-arms to procure game, 
were of more real use to him, than acres of the richest land on the Hudson or Mo- 
hawk. That progress, by which civilization or cultivation would eventually con- 
tract or annihilate his hunting-grounds, was far beyond his thought, or, perhaps, be- 
yond the conception of either 2)arty. The Iroquois valued the friendship of the 
Dutch, and contrasted the dealings of the Netherlander with the unprovoked hos- 
tility of the French, and their detestable treachery, in seizing their chiefs at a coun- 
cil meeting, and sending them to labour at the gallies of the "grand monarque." 
The Iroquois were the lords of all the laud possessed by the Dutcli, or claimed by 
them ; for the sea-board Indians had submitted to the power and prowess of the 
martial confederacy. 

The Long Island Indians gave the Dutch settlers very little trouble. They had 
some quarrels, and the planters were, in some instances, obliged to stand on their 
guard ; but they generally were friendly, and by degreesnielted away before the light 
of the white man. The Indians who attacked the early settlers were from the con- 
tinent : but the battle of Fort Neck was fought, apparently, with Long Island 

t See Appendix P. 

sloughter's administration. 213 

fortunes are placed at his excellency's disposal, and prayers are 
added for his excellency's long life and rule. They unanimously 
resolved, that all the laws consented to by the general assembly, 
under James, Duke of York, and the liberties and privileges therein 
contained, granted to the people, and declared to be their rights, 
are null and void — not being ratified. They enacted a law for 
establishing the revenue : the receiver-general took this money from 
the collectors, and it was paid out to warrants issued by the gover- 
nour : this made the governour independent of the people. They 
passed a law, securing the rights of the colonists, as English sub- 
jects, by declaring the legislative power, (under the king,) to reside 
in the governour and coiuicil appointed by his majesty, with a gene- 
ral assembly, representing the freeholders : but this act was rejected 
by the king. A law passed into operation for establishing courts of 
justice, as had been done in 16S3, and abolishing the old court of 

In May, Sloughter proceeded to Albany, and in June, a council 
of the Iroquois met him. The confederates were discontented that 
they had been left to contend, unassisted by the English, after the 
retreat of General Winthrop, and during the following winter. 

We are told by Pere Charlevoix, that the brave and active old 
general. Count Frontignac, after the defeat of Sir William Phipps, 
and the futile operations of New York and Connecticut, under 
Winthrop, pressed the French Court to send a force against the 
city of ]\ew York, as the only means of subduing the Iroquois, who 
made several inroads upon the Canadian settlements, particularly 
near Montreal, killing many French inhabitants, and destroying the 
fruits of nature and industry — according to the practice of glorious 
war, in every country. In one instance, a party of Oneidas were 
defeated by the French, several killed and five taken prisoners, 
who were burnt by the "habitans." Many of these interesting 
skirmishes are detailed by the worthy father, w^ho tells us that the 
Onondagas, having sent messengers to the Caughnawagas, or pray- 
ing Indians of the French, Count Frontignac had suspicions of 
these Mohawk converts : but they refused to return to their former 
friends, though threatened by them with being involved in the de- 
struction prepared for the French. 

Sloughter succeeded in renewing the treaties with the Iroquois 
which had formerly been in force. The Mohawks, who had re- 
ceived the messengers and presents of Frontignac, at first held off. 
The others told him that they were glad to see a governour again 

* The chief justice, Dudley, had for salary, £130. The second judge, Johnson, 
£100. The other judges. Smith, Van Cortlandt, and Pinhorne, with the attorney- 
general, had nothing. 

214 sloughter's death. 

in Albany : and finally, the Mohawks rejected the overtures of the 
French, and again pledged themselves to New York. 

The governour, having returned to New York, suddenly died, 
on the 23d of July, 1691. It was suspected, or asserted, that he 
had been poisoned, (as if any extraordinary means were necessary 
to terminate the life of a glutton and drunkard,) but a pos^ mortem 
examinadon by physicians and surgeons, removed the suspicion; 
which only proves the rancour and the fears of the prevailing party. 
The corpse was buried, as Smith tells us, in Stuyvesant's vault, 
next to the remains of the old Dutch governours. 

Dudley, being the senior member of council, was, of right, the 
ruler of the province ; but he was absent at Curacoa, and the party 
resigned the reins of government into the hands of Ingoldsby, who 
bore no higher commission still, than that of a captain of foot. Even 
on Dudley's return, by the way of Boston, the captain was con- 
tinued governour. There is no doubt, in my mind, but fear of the 
people caused this resignation of power into the hands of this man, 
who had command of the military, and had no ability to fit him for 

In the meantime, reinforcements arrived at Quebec. But Major 
Peter Schuyler led the Iroquois by Lake Champlain, and finding 
the Governour of Montreal encamped with a force at La Prairie, 
attacked him with considerable success ; that is, many French were 
killed, and the Indians were encouraged to remain firm to New 
York. Frontignac, however, retorted these uncourteous visits, and 
sent a large force in the autumn to punish the Mohawks : they did 
little, and suffered much ; discouraged by the approach of winter, 
for which they were not prepared, they retreated to Montreal. 

The Iroquois, on their part, attempted to surprise the French at 
Sault St. Louis, but failed, and after some skirmishing, retired. The 
confederates had advanced on this enterprise, in two parties. The 
Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, by Lake Ontario ; while the 
Mohawks, Oneidas, and some Mohicans proceeded by Lake Cham- 
plain, and after committing some destruction by the fire and the 

knife, were driven back with loss. 
1692 The aldermen and assistants elected by the freemen, and 

constituUng the Common Council of the city of New York for 
1692, were for the East Ward, William Beekman, Alderman ; Alex- 
ander Wilson, assistant. Dock Ward, William Merrett, alderman; 
Thomas Clarke, assistant. North JVard, Johannes Kipp, alder- 
man ; Thomas Dekay, assistant. South Waixl, Brandt Schuyler, 
alderman; Stephen Delancey,* assistant. Out Ward, John Mer- 

t We see here, a Stephen Delancey elected Jin assistant alderman, in the year 

Fletcher's administration. 215 

ritt, alderman ; Garret Dow, assistant. West Ward, Robert Dar- 
kins, alderman ; Peter King, assistant. The mayor, appointed by 
the governonr, was Captain Richard De Peyster. The recorder, 
commissioned by the king, was William Pinhorne, who was like- 
wise one of Slonghter's, or his majesty's council. 

On the 30th of March, 1692, Pinhorne brought in an ad- 
dress for the mayor and common council to sign, and read it ; 
but De Peyster, the mnyor, tliough appointed by Sloughter con- 
sdtutionally, objected to t!i« pussage in which Pinhorne had asserted, 
"that Leisler hath not j^aid the soldiers he had take?i uimn him to 
raise,'''' and for " the picsent it was laid aside." The manuscript 
record in the common council's office. City Hall, New York, says, 
that the common council and recorder were willing to sign ; but 
De Peyster was too honest.* 

On the 29th of August, 1G92, Benjamin Fletcher arrived as 
governonr of New York. On the 30th he published his commis- 
sion. His majesty's council at the time was composed of Messrs. 
Frederick Phillipse, Stephen Van Cortlandt, Nicholas Bayard, 
Gabriel Mienville, Chudley Brooke, William Nichols, Thomas 
Willet, and Thomas Johnson. These were, as the reader will re- 

* In this year, a schism happened anions^ the quakers of Philadelphia, with 
which New Yoiic is connected — inasmncjj as to tiiat, the latter place i,^ indebted 
for its first printer and printing-press. In 1GS9, the " friend's pnblic school, 
of Philadelpiiia," was established, and at its head was placed Georiie Keith. George 
was a writer, that is, he was possessed by thai restless spirit which induces men to 
sacrifice ease and comfort, to the desire of appearing in print ; and he undertook to 
reform quakerism. This did not please his employers, who had called him to teach 
their children, and not themselves. George Keith was a native of Aberdeen, in 
Scotland, from whicii town came Barclay, and other distinguished men. Keith was 
a man of vigorous intellect, but of a restless mind — ever disposed for controversy. 
He had been distinguished by many writings in defence of quakerism, and in oppo- 
sition to the churches and ministers of New England. These publications recom- 
mended him to the friends, of Philadelphia, and George was in high favour as long 
as his sharp and bitter compositions were directed against New England ; but when 
he began to reform what he considered amiss in Philadelphia, it was discovered that 
"he had too much life in argument," " unbecoming vanity," and conducted himself 
"in a very extravagant manner." Keith insisted that it was unchristian to keep 
negroes in slavery. He was in advance of the time ; and the truth caused irritation, 
because it was true. He had his adherents — and particularly the German emi- 
grants — who, it is said, " from the first, protested against negro-slavery." Not 
content with endeavouring to teach, Keith made attacks upon the friends, that sa- 
voured of hostility. Thev, in tiieir turn, i)uhli.-hed a testimony of denial against him. 
They declared that the mighty man had fallen. They accused iiim of uttering " un- 
savoury words and abusive language," with calling them " fools, ignorant heathens, 
silly souls, rotten ranters, aiul n)ugglutonians," and, what was worse, "that quaker- 
ism was too often a cloak of heresy and hypocrisy." Keith's party were denomi- 
nated, by him. Christian Qiuilicrs. and his opponents, Apostates. 

In this controversy, Bradford had been employed by Keith; and the wrath of the 
more mimerous party, which ])roved to he Keith's adversaries, falling on the printer, 
he fied and removed his mischievous engine to New York. Bradford was soon 
after employed by the corporation to print the city laws, and, in 172.5, printed the 
first newspaper that appeared in New York. 

In the same year, (1692,) Bartholomew Green established himself in Boston as* 

216 Fletcher's administration. 

collect, the opponents, accusers, judges, and condemners of Leis- 
ler. Ingoldsby acted as governour until Fletcher's arrival, and then 
appears 'to have been commander of the military. 

Sloughter, Ingoldsby and Fletcher, appear to have been sent out 
merely because they were soldiers who were to be advanced ; and 
Benjamin Fletcher was even more unfit for the ruler of a province, 
if possible, than his immediate predecessors. He fell into the 
hands of the aristocratick party, and adopted their views. The 
mayor and corporation, resolved on " a treat," to the value " of 
^20," to welcome Governour Fletcher. The assembly was in 
session, and voted an address of thanks to the king for the warlike 
store which the governour brought to the province ; and the coun- 
cil, though rejoicing in the accession of strength which an ignorant 
and violent governour brought them, found it convenient from some 
private reasons, to remove two of the former members, Joseph 
Dudley and William Pinhorne : they were succeeded by Caleb 
Heathcote and John Young. Dudley was likewise excluded from 
the bench, where he sat as chief justice, and William Smith placed 

In the address to the king, from the assembly, they represented 
the necessity for aid against Canada. They said the province was 
so diminished by former grants, that it consisted of but " a very 
few towns and villages," and that the number of men fit to bear 
arms was less than 3000, " and all reduced to great poverty." 

Fletcher is represented by William Smith, in his history of New 
York, as a man of strong passions and inconsiderable talents, 
very active, and equally avaricious. His desires prompted him to 
require an independant salary from the people, as well as the dis- 
posal of the public money granted for specific purposes. His in- 
structions caused him to press for the establishment of episcopal 
ministers, and the introduction of the English church by every 
possible means. 

printer. He was the son of Samuel Green, who arrived with Winthrop in 1638. Bar- 
tholomew printed the first newspaper. It was issued on the 17th of April, 1704, on 
a half sheet of />o< /;fl/;fr. In this year, likewise, was huilt, in New York, the old 
Dutch Church, in Garden street, "the street adjoining the garden of Alderman 
Johannes Kip." The street has existed as Exchange Place, has heen burnt in the 
fire of lOth and 17th l)eceml)er, 18;?5, is now reliuilding, and retains the name of 
Exchange Place. The ground for this church was given by Siunuel Bayard, in 
*160l, to three persons, in trust, for a cluirch and burying grouiul, in perpetuity. 
Since the above mentioned fire, the prescuit trustees have sold it to merchants for 
building lots, for $1500,000. The descendants of the old Dutch families see their 
fathers' bones tossed into the street and sticking out from the sides of a newly dug 
cellar. We see so many proofs of the folly of supposing that the remains of men 
can be suffered to resti« any place, that it is only wonderful that we should cherish 
the filial hope. Who can expect to be left undisturbed in death after the opening 
of the pyramids? There is built, in 1H37, a "Temple," at the north east corner of 
Murray and Church streets, by the congregation of the Garden street church. 


I will pause to give some notice of the Caleb Heathcote, who 
became at this time one of the governour's, or his majesty's coun- 
cil. He was a judge, and a colonel of militia. The name of 
George Heathcote appears among the inhabitants of New York in 
1G7G, and his property is rated at £2doQ, which placed him as 
one of the rich of the time. Gaorgj died unmarried, and his 
property devolved to Caleb. Tradidon says, that the father of 
Caleb was a man of fortune, and mayor of Chester, in England ; 
but Caleb had two brothers born before him, who, probably, one or 
both, inherited the father's estate ; both procured titles, and found- 
ed families well known in England. The oldest brother was Sir 
Gilbert Heathcote, the founder and first president of the bank of 
England, and lord mayor of London. Caleb, the youngest, had 
formed a matrimonial engagement with a lady of great beauty, but 
unfortunately took his elder brother, Gilbert, to see his intended 
wife. Gilbert was struck with the lady's beauty, and supplanted 
his brother, who sought refuge with his uncle in New York, married 
a daughter of " Tangier Smith,"* of Long Island, and became a 
distinguished man in our history. He was a sincere Episcopalian, 
and prob-ibly seconded from principle, the views which Fletcher 
advocated from interest, and in obedience to his ordprs. Heath- 
cote, in his military capacity, had command of the West Riding, on 
Long Island, and in one of his letters gives this account of his 
method of " converdng," as my friend Doctor De Kay, from whom 
I have the extract, says, " military into religious exercises." 

The colonel came to America in JG92, as I gather from this 
letter, which is dated in 1704-, and he must have had both influ- 
ence and fortune, to have attained a seat in the council the first 
year of his arrival. He writes thus — " 1 shall begin the history 
of the church from the time I first came among them, which was 
about twelve years ago. I found it the most rude and heathenish 
country I ever saw in my whole life, which called themselves 
Christians, there not being so much as the least marks or footsteps 
of religion of any sort. Sundays were only times set apart by 
them for all manner of vain sports and lewd diversion, and they 
were grown to such a degree of rudeness, that it was intolerable. 
I having then command of the militia, sent an order to all the cap- 
tains, requiring them to call their men under arms, and to acquaint 
them, that in case they would not in every town agree among them- 
selves to appoint readers, and to pass the Sabbath in the best man- 
ner Uiey could, till such times as they should be better provided, 
that the captains should every Sunday call their companies under 

* Smith was so called, from having been goveruour of Tangier, and lo distin- 
guish him from " BiiU Smith," aiul ail other Smiths. 

VOL. I. 28 


arms, and spend the day in exercise. Whereupon, it was unani- 
mously agreed on diroughout the country, to make choice of 
readers, which they accordingly did, and continued in those me- 
thods for some time." This was a mild and ins-enious mode of 
propagating the gospel by aid of the bayonet.* 

Fletcher showed his good sense in following the advice of coun- 
cil, and seeking a knowledge of the Iroquois, and of the danger 
in which the frontier stood from the activity and talents of Count 
Frontignac, the governoiir of Canada, from Peter Schuyler, the 
mayor of Albany, to whom the Five Nations looked, as to a father, 
and who had shown on various occasions that he was fit to guide 
their counsels and lead them in battle. 

The governour had capacity enough to see that Schuyler had 
the knowledge of which he was deficient ; that he was a man on 
whom he could rely ; and he followed his counsels in regard to 
the French and the Iroquois. Fletcher had repaired to Albany in 
the autumn, and by Schuyler's direction, confirmed the Indians in 
their alliance with New York, and distributed the usual presents. 
He advanced the colonel to be of his majesty's council, but he 
still remained as the chief magistrate of Albany, where Ingoldsby 
was stationed as commander of the troops and fort. 

The Iroquois not only guarded the province of New York from 
the French, and diminished the colony of Canada by frequent in- 
roads destructive to the population and settlements ; but they 
stopped that great plan of the French court, by which a chain of 
forts and garrisons was to unite the St. Lawrence with the Missis- 
sippi — Canada with Louisiana. It was, as has been mentioned, 
thought, that to remove this nuisance which destroyed Canada and 
shut the French power from the great Lakes, the English province 
of New York must be subdued, and then the Iroquois must be 
extirpated or made to aid the great designs of France. Accord- 
ingly, the plan was entrusted to Frontignac for its execution. A 
fleet sufficient to reduce the city of New York, was to be sent to 
hover in the vicinity, until the Count having taken Albany, should 
approach the devoted city, and thus die province become French. 

* This Col. Caleb Heathcote built at Marmaroneck, and Madame Knight, in her 
journey from Boston to New York, in the year 1704, speaks of passing the residence 
of Col. Heathcote, who. she says, she was tokl was "a very fine geniJenien." He 
was lord of the manor of 8carsdale, in Westchester county, and left two daughters, 
co-heiresses: one married Doctor Johnson, of Perth Amboy, the friend and corres- 
pondent of Grotius, and the other married Lieutenant-Governoiir James De Lancey. 
Through the Smiths of Tiingiers, a daughter of which family he married, the name 
of Heathcote passed into the Wooisey family; through Governour De Lancy, to 
the present Rev. Dr. VV. Heathcote De Lancey, of Philadelphia, and Heathcote 
Johnson, who died unmarried in London. Much of this information I derived 
from my friend, James Fennimore Cooper, who married a daughter of Colonel De 
Lancey, of Heathcote Hill, in Westchester. 


In the meantime, Frontignac did not remit his efforts against the 
Iroquois, and they under a chief called by the English, " Black 
Ketde," and by Charlevoix, " Chaudure Noire,'' (better soundirg, 
though meaning the same thing,) made a descent upon the neigh- 
bourhood of Montreal, and ravaged the open country ; the French 
not being in force to leave their ibrtified places. Frontignac, how- 
ever, pushed on a detachment in pursuit of the invaders, and they 
were overtaken on their return. A desperate battle ensued. It 
appears Uiat the French threw a part of their men between the 
Indians and their return-path : they, however, fought their way 
through, with the loss of twenty vvarriours. The Canadian troops 
lost four officers, and a proportionate number of soldiers ; but re- 
tained five men, nine women, and five children, as prisoners. But 
a few days after this rencontre, a party of Iroquois appeared below 
Montreal, and cut off a captain's command, killing the officer and 
many of his men. 

Frontignac, as if to terrify the savages, or to gratify his rage and 
disposition to cruelty, condemned two of the Iroquois prisoners to 
be burnt alive. The Jesuits v/aited on the captives, condemned 
by the civilized governour of Canada to die at the stake, and in- 
structed them in the mysteries of Christianity. " They preached 
to them," says Colden, " the Trinity, the incarnation of our Saviour, 
the joys of paradise, and the punishments of hell, to fit their souls 
for lieaven by biptism, while tlieir bodies were condemned to tor- 
ments." The Indians answered by singing their death song. It 
was said that one of the captives found a knife in his dungeon and 
despatched himself. This was certainly not characteristick of the 
people. The other was delivered to the converted Indians, who 
led him to the stake a)id put him to the torture, according to the 
practice of their former pagan state. 

The devoted victim sang his triumphs — defied his tormentors, 
and boasted of the Frenchmen he had slain. They mangled his 
flesh — cut his joints — twisted his sinews with bars of iron — tore 
off his scalp, and poured boiling hot sand on his skull — and it is 
said, he only received the coup de grace by the intercession of the 
intendant's lady ; which ended this shameful exhibition, ordered 
by a French general, executed by what were called christian In- 
dians, and witnessed by the most civilized people of Europe. 
1693 On the i5th of January, 1093, die governour of Canada 
having projected an expedidon against the Mohawks, sent 
a body of six hundred men, provided with snow shoes, and accom- 
panied by light sledges made of skins, and drawn by dogs, to carry 
their stores. Three captains of the king's regular troops, with 
thirty subalterns, led picked soldiers. The whole were equipped 
for a march over frozen lakes, and a wilderness shining with ice 
and snow- On the 8th of February they passed Schenectady, and 


although a prisoner taken at the destruction of that place in 1690, 
escaped from them, and carried intelligence of the hostile march ; 
no warning, the Jesuit historian says, was sent to the Mohawk 
castles ; a friendly act, which might have been done on the soudi 
side of the river, as the French advanced on the north. 

On the night of the Sth of February, after a march of twenty- 
four days, suffering incredible hardships, the French, with their 
Canadians and Indians, entered the first Mohawk village, nearest 
Schenectady. The warriours were all abroad, and only five males 
were found with the women and children. The second Mohawk 
castle was easily surprised and entered, being as defenceless as the 
first. The third castle was the largest, and, being farthest from 
their friends of Schenectady, was the strongest. Forty warriours 
were here dancing their war-dance, preparatory to sallying forth in 
pursuit of battle and scalps the next day. The French had entered 
the gate of the village unperceived ; but notwithstanding this ad- 
vantage, and the confusion of an unexpected night assault, the In- 
dians resisted, and slew thirty of the assailants. Many of the 
Mohawks were killed, and 300 men, women and children, made 
prisoners. The complaints were loud that Schenectady had not 
sent either intelligence or help. 

Charlevoix says, that in their retreat the French murdered the 
women and children of the Mohawks, and were pursued by the 
Oneidas ; that his countrymen finally disbanded ; lost their pris- 
oners ; and that the wreck of the detachment reached Montreal 
in March following. 

As soon as the news of this attack upon the Mohawks reached 
Albany, Peter Schuyler mustered what Ibrce he could and march- 
ed to Schenectady. From thence he sent out scouts : and having 
increased his armed men to 200, he marched in pursuit of the 
French on the 12th of February. He soon heard that 600 of the 
Iroquois were on the way for the same purpose. These, I pre- 
sume, were the Oneidas, of whom Charlevoix speaks. Schuyler 
waited for the Indians, who amounted when they joined him to only 
250 " men and boys, all armed." His whole force on the 15th of 
February, was 290 New Yorkers, and 2-50 Indians. The white 
troops had no provisions but biscuit? carried in their pockets. The 
Indians were probably quite as destitute, but more hardened to 

The French finding that they were pursued, sent one of their 
scouts to join Schuyler, under pretence of desertion ; this spy 
magnified the force of the Canadian army ; said they had thrown 
up a fortification and awaited the pursuers, in an advantageous 

Schuyler sent a message to Ingoldsby,who commanded the king's 
troops at Albany, desiring him to send a reinforcement of troops 


and provisions ; this done, he immediately pushed forward, and 
soon found that he approached the enemy, who had thrown up a 
defence of logs for their main body, and posted their Indians to 
receive the advance of the pursuers. The mayor of Albany made 
a circuit to avoid ambuscades, and soon the Indians of both parties 
had raised their war shouts and were engaged. The French party 
at first gained an advantage, and the regidar troops sallying fiom 
their redoubt, attacked Schuyler furiously, but were repulsed with 
loss. The Iroquois bore off heads and scalps in triumph : but 
Schuyler, some of whose men had not eaten for two days, found it 
necessary to form a redoubt of trees and await reinforcements 
from Albany, for which he pressed by repeated messengers. The 
French took advantage of a snow storm to retreat. Eighty men 
arrived from Albany, not led by Ingoldsby, but a Captain INIathews ; 
on their arrival, Schuyler recommenced the pursuit as soon as liis 
troops had been refreshed by the food vv-hich Mathews, who led 
the van, had brouc;ht. 

Schuyler had tlie prospect of overtaking the foe before they cotdd 
cross the Hudson, which he knew to be open, a very uncommon 
occurrence in February ; but the French, on arriving at the river, 
found a bridge, formed by some floating cakes of ice which had ac- 
cidentally choked up the stream and were joined temporarily to- 
gether. On this they crossed, and the bridge floated off before 
Schuyler could follow. 

Giving over the pursuit he returned, bearing the rescued priso- 
ners and his wounded men. Twenty-seven of the French, of whom 
four were officers, were found dead on the field. Schuyler, on 
going among his Iroquois allies, found them feasting on broth, of 
which he was invited to partake. They were regaling themselves 
on the dead bodies of their enemies. 

The French, as mentioned above, dispersed, in a state of famine ; 
and, in March, the remains of the army entered Montreal, the 
strongest arriving first, with all the symptoms of discomfiture and 

An express had been sent to Fletcher, who immediately called 
out the militia of New York, of whom three hundred men volun- 
teered to follow him in pursuit of the invaders. The river being 
free from ice, with three sloops, the governour and his troops arrived 
at Albany in three days.* His prompjtude, and the extraordinary 
circumstance of free navigation of the Hudson in February, gained 
Fletcher great credit. The Iroquois called him "the Arrow." His 

• Chief Justice Smith, in a note says, "the climate of late days is much altered, 
and this day (February 14th, 1/58.) 300 recruits sailed from New York for the 
army, under the command of General Shirley, now quartered at Albany, and last 
jear a sloop went up the river a month earlier," that is, the 14th of January, 1755. 

222 Fletcher's administiiation. 

expedition, however, was useless, as Schuyler was on his return 
from the chase. 

The Assembly, upon Fletcher's return to New York, compli- 
mented him for iiis exertions on this occasion, not only by thanks, 
but by raising and placing at his disposal, i'GOOO, for a year's pay 
of three hundred volunteers, and their officers, for the defence of 
the frontiers. Complaints were afterwards made by those volunteers 
that they did not receive their wages. At this session, the governour 
pressed uj)on the Assembly the settling of schoolmasters, to teach 
English, and ministers of the Episcopal Church. The House was 
attached to the Dutch lano-uao-e, and considered the Dutch Church 
as secured by the articles of surrender. Fletcher's council were as 
decidedly opposed to Fresbytereanism, as were his instructions ; 
some of these gentlemen not the less because it was the creed of 
the Leislerian party ; others, as Col. Caleb Heathcote, because of 
real attachment to the English Church. 

The governour told the Assembly, at the close of the session, 
that notwithstanding his recommendation, they had done nothing 
in this business, and bade them reinember that insured of the privi- 
leges of Englishmen, of which they were so ready to talk, they 
provided not for the religion of the Church of England. 

Count Fronti<ii;nac, relying upon the Iroquois keeping at home 
after the late suffering of the Mohawks, ordered a convoy, with pel- 
tries, which had been shut up at Michilimackinack, to come on to 
Montreal ; but they were encountered by the Indians, and the party 
cut off. 

The rumours, however, of the intended invasion of New York, by 
sea and land, the arrival of reinforcements from France, the blow 
inflicted on the Mohawks, and above all, the arts and persuasion of 
M. Milet, a Jesuit, who had been received among the Oneidas, dis- 
posed that portion of the confederacy to sue for peace. Peter 
Schuyler, to counteract this, brought Fletcher, with a load of pre- 
sents for the Indians, up to Albany, where a council was held, and 
the goods, which had been withheld a long lime, were, with many 
fair words, delivered. 

The Iroquois were told, that the 90 guns, SIO pounds of pow- 
der, 800 bars of lead, 1,000 flints, 87 hatchets, 48 dozen knives, 
•besides blankets, beef and pork, came from King William and 
Queen Mary, thnr gracious king and queen.* 

* I endeavour to inalcR all tian?actions with the Indians plain to every reader, bj 
adopting .such appellations I'orllie diflerent nations or tribes as jienerally denote the 
place ol' residence, or some oilier well kiiown circumstance. When speaking of 
the Five. Nations, 1 call them by that appellation ; or the confederates, or the Iro- 
quois, in the aggregate. That part ot the Mohawk river vviiich approaches the 
{Hudson, marks the .situation of the Mohawk tribe with ther villages and castles. 

Fletcher's administration. 223 

The speeches of the Indian orators, when divested of the figura- 
llve language, awkwardly rendered into English by interpreters, do 
lionour to this singular people ; and their negotiaiions with both 
French and English, show a skill in diplomacy, united to more 
good faith, than was in practice among civilized nations. 

The Iroquois were pleaded by these presents from England, and 
promised to deliver up M- Milet, the Jesuit; but he had art enough 
to continue his intrigues i.i despite of Fletcher and his adviser. 

The governour met a new assembly in September, and prevailed 
upon them to pass a bill lor setding a ministry ; but it was sent up 
to the council: it was returned with an amendment, vesting his ex- 
cellency with an episcopal power of inducting every incumbent. 
This the house refused ; and the colonel called diem before 
him, and broke up the session, by scolding them, and dismiss- 
ing them. He told them that they were unmannerly dictators to 
him and his council ; that they took care to exact their 10s. a day, 
but wished to pull down the fees of other ministers of the govern- 
ment ; but he would let ihcm know he had to collate or suspend 
any clergyman, and he would take care that neither heresy, schism, 
or rebellion, should be preached among them. 

This assembly, as Mr. Smith remarks, in his history, had " de- 
served better usage" at Fletcher's hands ; for they had made him 
for five years independent of the people, by giving him controul 
over the treasury and continuing the revenue for that time. 

The bill, however, as enacted by the assembly, passed into a law 
without the amendment, and provided for the establishment of good 
and sufficient protestant ministers — one in New York city, one in 
Richmond county, two in the county of Westchester, and two in 
Queen's county — to be paid by a tax upon the inhabitants gene- 
rally, to be levied by the vestry men and church wardens, who were 
elective by such inhabitants. By this act, the Church of England 

The names of the counties, Oneida and Onondapa, give us the places of those two 
nations. Onondaga, or tiie "swamp under the hill," being the great council-ground 
of the confederates. The Cayugas have impressed tiieir names upon the country 
of their abode; and the Seneca river points us to territory of that, the farthest of 
the union who stretciied along the borders of Lake Erie. The Iroquois knew no 
limits to their hunting grounds, hut such as the arms of other nations could oppose. 
They roved free as air — only checked by the French of Canada and their ahies, or 
by the European inhabitants of New York, who gladly sought their friendship. 
Masters — they had none — although the English governours set up the pretence 
of sovereignty over them — calling them subjects of England. Their country was 
never subjected, until, by aiding Great Britain in her attempt to enslave the colonies, 
the United StJites were forced to conquer them in self-defence. By the Ottawas — 
I mean the Indians on that river and neighbourhood. The Caugnawahgas were a 
mixed -ace, culled christians, and settled opposite to Montreal. The Mackinaws 
are the people who then dwelt about Lake Michigan : the Hurons are designated 
by the waters of that name: and Algonkin is a title bestowed on a great portion 
of the natives who were in alliance with, or subdued by the French. 

224 Fletcher's administration. 

was recognized as the dominant church, leaving the dissenters at 
liberty to maintain a minister of tiieir own, but obliging them to pay 
the established preacher. 

It appears by the minutes of the common council, that the city 
of New York under Fletcher's direction, (as an addition to the 
fort,) erected a battery on the point of the island, upon a platform, 
laid upon the rocks, overlooked by the hill on which the fort stood. 
This battery was calculated to command both rivers. As Fletcher 
was vested with plenary powers of commanding the whole mi- 
litia of Connecticut and the neighboiu'ing colonies, he asserted his 
claim upon Connecticut. Fitzjohn Winthrop, (who had commanded 
under Leisler's government the troops of Connecticut and IS'ew 
York,) was appointed agent of the colony to go to England, and 
oppose Fletcl:er's claim. 

On the 2Gth of October, 1693, Fletcher, the governour of New 
York, with Nicholas Bayard, came to Hartford while the assembly 
was sitting, and demanded an answer, " yes or no," says Trumbull. 
He ordered the militia of Hartford under arms; and it was judged 
expedient to comply, but the assembly insisted that the command 
of the militia was vested by charter in the governour and company. 
Colonel Bayard, by Fletcher's command, sent a letter to the Assem- 
bly, declaring that his excellency, had no design upon the civil 
rights of the colony, and tendered a commission to Governour Treat. 
This was refused of course. 

When the train-bands assembled. Captain Wadsworth, as senior 
officer on the ground, took the command. Fletcher ordered his 
commission to be read to the troops, by Bayard ; but on his coin- 
mencing, Wadsworth ordered the drums to beat ; — Bayard again 
attempted, but the command was readily obeyed. Upon Fletcher's 
persisting, Wadsworth told him, if he interrupted his command 
again, he " would make the sun shine through him in a moment." 
Such were the numbers of people collected, and such the face 
shown, that Fletcher and his favourite Bayard, desisted : and as 

soon as convenient got off to New York. 
1094 The assembly which met the governour this year in 
March, were in a continued state of contention with him : 
they insisting on an examination of public accounts, he demanding 
additional pay for some troops lately arrived, and supplies for those 
on the fronUcr. He prorogued them, after a month's session ; but 
in September he again met them, again to quarrel ; but they granted 
additional support for 100 men on the frontiers. 

During this year, the French general and governour of Canada 
appears to have had hopes of deatching the Iroquois from the Eng- 
lish. He finds means of sending several of the Caugnawaghas 
among their former friends, as his agents. Father Charlevoix 
represents these spies as so many saints endeavouring to thwart the 


machinations of the English devils, who instigated the Iroquois to 
enmity, by promising them sooner or later to conquer Canada. 

Deputies frequently go from the Iroquois to Montreal, where they 
were caressed and returned loaded with presents. Charlevoix re- 
presents the confederacy as able, in case of an attack, to raise 3,000 

1695. In 1(39-3, the Iroquois took a hostile tone v.ith Fronilg- 

nac. They insisted that if he wished to treat of peace, he 
should send French deputies to them. This appears to strengthen 
his determination to rebuild the fort at Cadaraqui, which he accord- 
ingly accomplished. He likewise sent a party of 300 men to sur- 
prise such of the Iroquois as might be hunting near Niagara: this 
was accompU.died, and the prisoners who were carried to Mon- 
treal were burnt. This only caused more rancour, and in return, 
the captives taken by the confederates were tortured in the same 

1696 Fletcher heard that Count Frontignac was rebuilding the 

fort at Cadaraqui ; and about the same time, received from 
England the king's orders for carrying on the war, by a union of the 
strength of the colonies. The quotas assigned by the English go- 
vernment, were laid before the New \'ork Assembly, and were as 
follows, viz. : Pennsylvania, <£S0 : Massachusetts Bay, ^350 : 
Maryland, ^160 : Virginia, c£24:0 : Rhode Island and Providence 
Plantation, <£-48 : Connecdcut, .£120 : New York, ^200. This 
gives us a view of tlic relative strength of the colonies as estimated 
in England. That such a combination of power had not before been 
thought of for defence, seems most strange. This session of the 
Legislature passed in great harmony. 

The old Count Frontignac carried on hostilities in every 
shape, at this time, against the Iroquois. The Ottowas wers 
stirred up, and made a triumphant attack on the confederates, bearing 
off to die French fort at Michilimackanack, thirty scalps. The Count 
made vigorous preparations to carry desolation into the midst of the 
Iroquois, and pushed forward at Uie same time various parties to 
annoy them. In January, 500 men were sent against the Mohawks, 
but with little effect. M. de Callieres, with 300 soldiers, was sent 
to attack the hunters near Lake Ontario : they surprised ten men, 
and one woman. Three of the Indians were killed, and the rest 
brought to Montreal, where one was burnt: the others being recog- 
nized as individuals, who had been kind to French prisoners, were 

It was in vain that the government of New York, called upon the 
respective colonies for their aid, as directed by the ministry ; and 
equally vain were the complaints made to England. The Iroquois 
were left to sustaii. the war unaided, except by the supplies which 
the governour carried to Albany. 
VOL I. 29 


In June, Frontignac having completed his preparations, assem- 
bled his army at Montreal and La Chine. In addition to all the 
regular troops at his disposal, the Ottowas, Caugnawahgas, Algon- 
kins, and the tribes under the influence of France, were brought 
together. Light batteaux, portable at the rapids, and other carry- 
ing places, conveyed the stores and ammunition instead of wagons, 
known to be worse than useless in the wilderness. On the 7th of 
July, this well appointed army left La Chine. 

There were two bodies of Indians under Le Jardinier and Beau- 
vois. A body of picked rangers led by the Baron de Beckencourt, 
preceeded the main army. The regular troops were divided into 
battalions of 200 men each, commanded by Messrs. Durabay, De 
Muys, Du Mesnel, and the Chevalier De Gras. I cannot but 
again pause, when the picture of these splendid officers in their 
pure white uniforms, glittering with gold, and followed by the 
finest troops of Europe, glancing back the rays of a July sun from 
their polished arms, and dazzling accoutrements, gaily moves be- 
fore the mind's eye, amidst the luxuriant growth of American forests, 
to seek a nation of savages so widely different in dress, decorations 
and manners — but these regular troops were followed by four bat- 
talions of Canadians, more assimilated in appearance and mode of 
warfare to the red men they sought to destroy. The rangers of 
Beauprc, were led by M. de Granville, those of Trois Rivieres, by 
M. de Grandpre ; those of Montreal, by M. de Chambease ; and 
those of Quebec, by the Chevalier de St. Martin. Monsieur Sube- 
rease acted as Major General. The van was commanded by M. 
de Callieres, an active and efficient officer, but who had at an ear- 
ly period protested against the attempt of the Count Frontignac, 
as inadequate to the destruction of the redoubted Iroquois. This 
gentleman had command of a body of Indians, and two battalions 
of French troops. 

I have displayed, after the Jesuit historian, this formidable ar- 
my, equipped by the Governour General, with the utmost care, and 
directed in person, by one of the most vigilant and experienced 
commanders that ever ruled the province. They embarked upon 
the St. Lawrence, preceeded by two batteaux with field pieces, mor- 
tars and ammunition, and followed by canoes with provisions, which 
were guided by Canadians. Frontignac followed, surrounded by 
canoes carrying his household, his baggage, and gentlemen volun- 
teers. The rear-guard was composed of two battalions of French 
soldiers, another band of Indians, and commanded by the Cheva- 
lier de Vandrenit. 

Such is Charlevoix's detail of Counts, Barons, Chevaliers, and 
gentlemen, with followers of every class, who embark for the des- 
truction of the sons of the forest, and their wigwams, and corn 


After twelve days stemming the stream of the Saint Law- 
rence, the army, undisturbed by an enemy, reached Fort Fron- 
tignac at Cadaraqui — a distance of about 180 miles. At this 
place they waited before embarking on Lake Ontario, for a body of 
Ottawas that was to join them. After looking some days for these 
allies in vain, they left their sick, amounting to 26, and crossed the 
lake to Oswego. The army then ascended the Onondaga river, 
stemming the rapids, and guarding the wooded shores by 50 scouts 
on each side. They then entered the Oneida Lake ; but found 
suspended to a tree at the outlet, two bundles of rushes, which, on 
counting, they found were 1,434 pieces, denoting the number of 
vvarriours who awaited them, and defied their numbers and mighty 
preparations. After passing this lake, the French army landed at 
the now well known deposit of salt. Here they threw up a fort ; 
and under charge of two captains and 100 soldiers, the canoes, bat- 
teaux, baggage and provisions not immediately wanted, were left; 
and the army, thus prepared for battle, advanced upon the Iroquois. 

They soon perceived a great smoke in front. The Onondagas, 
having learned the force that was approaching, removed their wo- 
men and children to the Oneidas and Cayugas, set fire to their villa- 
ges and betook themselves to the woods. The flames illumined 
the resting place of the French at night, and next day the army, in 
order of battle, in two lines, with artillery in front, advanced towards 
the spot where the villages once stood. Callieres on the left, com- 
manded one line : on the right, Vandreuil led the other. Fron- 
tignac, surrounded by his aids and volunteers, preceded by cannon, 
was borne in an arm-chair. After a hard day's march, the army, in 
all the pomp of glorious war, entered the first village, and found no- 
thing but ashes and the bodies of two Frenchmen, recently putto death. 

Here, Charlevoix says, were seen, in ruins, the remains of a fort, 
which had been a parallelogram with four bastions, surrounded by 
a double palisade, which, if the English who built it had occupied 
with cannon, they might have stopped the progress of the Count 

The next day, some squaws who had been captives, and of course 
slaves to the Onondagas, escaped to the French ; and a soldier who 
had been prisoner to the Oneidas, arrived with proposals of peace 
from that nation. The general replied, that they must submit, and be 
removed within the French colony, as the only terms he would grant. 

The army remained upon the ruins of Onondaga that day, and 
the following, Callieres, with 700 men marched for the Oneida 
country, with orders to burn the villages, cut the corn, and, in case 
of submission, receive six chiefs as hostages. If resisted, to put 
all to the sword. 

While he was absent upon this errand, a young Frencnman who 
had been a captive with the Onondagas, escaped, and joined his 


counto^men: he pointed out the spots where the corn was hidden 
m holes dug for the purpose, called by the French, Caches, and 
where the goods and clothing of the Onondagas 'were hidden 
WhilP IT ^;^.''^\^^^^^^"di"6 corn cut, and the country desolated. 
Whde executing this duty, an old man of 100, who could not fol- 

hn illH"''" -''"'"u' ''"''. ^'^^'" ^" '^''' ^^■«°^=^' «»d called the Chris- 
tian soldiers to another piece of duty. He presented himself to the 

ove?,';r 7 ^^«^^^^->l-^J^ he expected, and was deli! ei-ed 
him wh I ' f "7';^-5",^^.e^-C'^ed their skill and ingenuity in torturing 
him while he defied their cruelty with heroic constancy. 

.ee i^U'v'; '7^"'" '^''"'' ^^''''^^'-^'^^^ " a curious spectacle, to 
JinX ; '"" ''"^ r'" surrounding a decrepid old man, and stri- 
^^c^'^^^'^^^S^ him a groan, \vhile life lasted, he 
one t.hi ^ r ^"^'f"^ Y't^ \^e.oommg slaves to the French, ^^-hen 
my lif : o T 7 ', ' ^"^^^ ' >"^" ^° "'•°"^^'' ^- -'d' ' to shorten 
a man ! '" ''" '"'"'" "'°^'" ^^"^^ ^^ ^^^™ ^'^'^ to ^l^e like 

with oV''''"^'"''"' '-^-''-^'^ ^''" ^^"t against the Oneidas, returned 
with 25 persons principally Frenchme'n, released from captivitv' 

He It btr "'' "'" '^' ''''''''' ^^^"^ ^^- Caugna^ghai 

ditfon'^' T? '''' ''''I- '' ''^^'^'^ ^^'""^ ^^^'« J°"g projected expe- 
demoll^h.^ ;' T^'c ^'^!^°"tented, returned to thJ Oneida Lake, 
eZ S "/'?^"Tf -'^^"^ ^° P^"^^^^ ^^^^^^ boats and stores 
^stroll'. ""'^ '^'''\ ''^^ ^° ^'^^'^treal. The count had 

.n I 7n T '"'S'''""'' '"^ corn -burnt a Mohawk -tortured 
an old Onondaga - and only lost six of his army. The province 
was impoverished, and a famine sticceeded. The Iro irmore 
than ever embittered, not only followed the army and cu off sZe 
of the batteaux, but laid waste all the defenceless frontier setdeme'ts 
01 Oanada. 

^^^^ «. ™^^ ^"ccession of endeavours to do as much mischief 
months afte, \ ' '?"""r"p'^ "T' '^' r^^'^ «^ ^>'^^^'i^k, and some ' 
Tut were I ilp/ ^'^?\ '^ ^''"'^' '"^^ ^"^^^"s approached Albany, 
butueie killed or taken prisoners. Though he Count FronI 

SvT "^T^T" f ^^^' "^ ^-^^-^--^ eLmted iZand hi 
activity appeared unabated, it was not until February, 169S that 
the peace between England and France was known n Canada -1 
although It was concluded on the 10th of September, 1697 S^ 
Frontignac continued his hostilides against thi Iroquos, undl Lord 
Bellamont threatened (upon his succeeding to Fletch;r)to S 
the whole force of the province to their aid nn^I ,h. ' ^ 

Europe interfered. ' '"'' ^'^' government, in 



riraaj Lord BeUamnnt, Governinir — Robert Livingston — Wil- 
liam Kidd completes his crew at New York — Tarns iiirate — Re- 
turns to Ancricii, and is secured, hi/ Bdhimont — Treasure — Bel- 
lamont at the head of the democracy — His convcil, at the time of 
his arrival — Progress of the city — New City Hall, in Wall street 
— French j'lans of coiiqnest in America — Bellamont claims the 
Iroquois as subjects to England and New York — Canadian affairs 
— Death of Bellamont. 

1697 Piracy, though not in so good repute as in ancient 
times, was certainly not looked upon with the same 
Borrour and contempt during the government of Fletcher, as 
it now justly receives. Private armed vessels, licensed and unli- 
censed, roved the seas, and robbed at all convenient opportunities. 
Many of these free sailors had English commissions from James II, 
and some from William III : many had no permission from any one 
to commit violence or murder for emolument. The ships of all 
nations werj rifled or burnt, not even sparing tliose of Great Britain. 
Many of the colonial ports received these freebooters and shared in 
the spoils ; and New York, under the administrations which ruled 
from 1G92 to 1093, had a full share of the gainful trade — the men 
in office, fjom Fletcher downwards, affording protection, and the 
traders buying, selling, and fitting out the corsairs with all they 

Richard Coote, Earl of Bellamont, was appointed in the year 
1695 to succeed Fletcher, as Governour of New York. Massa- 
chusetts and New Hampshire were likewise submitted to his 
government; and he appears to have been chosen, in a great mea- 
sure, as a person well qualified to heal the di.■^orders in America, and 
to put down the pirates. Although appointed in lG9o, he did not 
receive his commission until 1697 ; and it was April 2, 1698, 
before he arrived at New York.* 

* In 1696, Livingston returned from England, where he had become a friend of 
Bellamont. He brought with him a nephew, Robert Livingston, junior. He ac- 


Antecedent to his embarkation, the earl had made himself ac- 
quainted with the state of the colonies he was destined to rule. 
Robert Livingston, the violent opponent of Leisler, was in London ; 
and from him as well as other sources. Lord Bellamont learned the 
condition of the Province of New York. What had changed the 
views and opinions of Livingston, since the execution of Leisler 
and his son-in-law, does not appear ; but certainly he exerted him- 
self, on his return to America, as the friend of Bellamont, and an 
opponent of his former associates of the Albany Convention and 
council attached to Nicholson, Sloughter, Ligoldsby, and Fletcher. 

When the earl received his commission, William III said, that 
he thought him a man of resolution and integrity, and with these 
qualities, more likely than any other, to put a stop to the growth of 
piracy. Bellamont procured proofs of the injustice done to Leisler, 
and of the violent conduct of the aristocracy generally, as well as 
the governour's council, up to the time of his appointment, from 
young Leisler ; who, with becoming energy, appeared in England, 
and, by the aid of the earl, finally obtained some indemnification 
for his father's murder, by a reversal of the attainder and a restora- 
tion to the family of the property which the faction had seized. It 
is possible that the truths represented by this young man might have 
induced Livingston to side with him, as well as the Earl of Bella- 
mont, in urging his suit for redress. 

These proceedings in England raised the hopes of the Leisle- 
rians, and excited the fears of their oppressors. A small but de- 
termined minority was gained in the House of Assembly, although 
Fletcher used every means to gain that body, even to appearing as 
an electioneerer at the time of the people's choice. No species of 
bribery and corruption can be too flagrant to ascribe to Fletcher 
and Nicholls, men who received bribes from pirates for the protec- 
tion given them ; and the apprehensions of Bayard, Van Cortlandt, 
and their friends, would make them equally active in securing a 
majority of the Assembly for their shield from the vengeance of 
those whom they had persecuted. Thus distracted by two parties 
of the most violent description, was the state of the province at the 
arrival of the new governour, who came confirmed in the opinion 
that his predecessor, and the friends whose counsel he followed, in 
respect to Leisler and his family, were corrupt in morals and politics. 

cused Fletchor. Mr. Sedgwick says, " on Cornbury's arrival, he embraced 
the cause of the Ijcislerians" — just the reverse. Cornbury restored Living- 
ston's estates. Livingston resided on his estate in 171L His manorial pri- 
vileges were confirmed by the king in 1715: it originally comprised upwards of 
120,000 acres The settlement of the Palatines took from it 5,000 acres, in 1710. 
He gave 13,000 acres to his youngest son, Robert, the grandfather of the late chan- 
cellor. — See Sedgwick's Livingston. 


The English ministry were so deeply impresserl with the neces- 
sity of suppressing piracy, that Lord Jjellamont was encouraged to 
solicit that a frigate might be fitted out for die purpose ; but the 
war with France requiring all the naval force of Great Britain, the 
request was declined : however, a proportion to purchase and arm 
a private ship for this service, met encourageinent so far, that the 
Duke of iShrewsbury, Lord Chancellor isomers, the Earls of Rom- 
ney and Oxford, with others, became sharers in the enterprize with 
Livingston and Bellamont ; the latter taking upon himself the 
equipment of the vessel. 

There happened, at that time, to be in London a man of the 
name of William Kidd, who had distinguished himself as a captain 
of a privateer against the French, and particularly in the West In- 
dies. He had, in one instance, done service with his privateer, by 
aiding government in a perilous attack upon the French. Living- 
ston knew him as a brave sea captain, and recommended him to 
Bellamont to command ; who, accordingly, engaged him, and he 
sailed in the Adventure galley, of tliirty guns, with sixty men, 
for New York, commissioned as a privateer against the French, and 
to take and seize pirates in the Indian seas, and elsewhere.* He 
took his departure from Plymouth in April, 1696, and arrived at 
New York in July following. Here he was at home, knew the 
customs of the place, the characters of tiie rulers, and was received 
cordially, and completed his crew to loo, who shipped to go to 
Madagascar in pursuit of pirates. 

Kidd, now in command of a fine ship, bountifully equipped, and 
manned like a frigate, soon determined to follow the track of the 
heroes who had gone before him. He promised his crew to load 
the ship with gold and silver, and, no doubt, he found his licentious 
followers ready to second him in any mode of obtaining the means 
of evading the laws and pampering their appetites. The sailors of 
this period generally looked forward to nothing more than sensual 
gratification : the behaviour which ensures promotion was unknown 
to them. Such men were easilv led, from pursuing pirates for plun- 
der, to becoming pirates in the hope of sharing more largely in spoil. 

In the summer of 1697 he lay in wait for the Mocha fleet — made 
an attack upon them, but found their convoy too strong, and sheered 
off. On the coast of Malabar he plundered many vessels of various 
nations, Indians, Moors, and Christians ; and having broke through 
the laws, and become liable to punishment, if he could not elude 
them, cruelty followed as part of the character of the robber. He 

• Kidd was to have one fifth of the proceedsof the expedition: and Chief Justic* 
Smith says, that Livingston was his security. The noblemen of the ministry em- 
barked £6000. I do not find what share Lord Bellamont possessed. 


imitated the conquerors of Mexico and Peru, by torturing men to 
discover thjir wealth. He imitated other conquerors by landing 
on the coast, burning the houses and murderhig die inhabitants. 
He was pursued by the Portuguese with two ships of war, fought 
them and escaped. 

Among the vesssels captured by Kidd was one called the "Que- 
dagh Merchant," commanded by an Englishman. The captain 
offered oO,000 rupees ransom, wiiich was refused ; and the goods 
were sold in such ports as Kidd knew were good markets for them. 
For the capture of Captain Wright and the "Quedagh Merchant," 
the pirate was afterwards tried and eN:ecuted. 

Among the many murders committed^ay this hero, he was tried 
for killing William Moore, which is made a great point of, in the 
ballads of the day ; but, as appears on the trial, the deadi of this 
mutinous pirate was not intended by his captain, who struck a blow 
with a bucket, which, as was said, caused death. 

At a place where pirates rendezvoused, Kidd exchanged the 
Adventure galley for a ship that had been the Mocha frigate, 
and, after a variety of robberies, returned to America ; but finding 
that Fletcher and the other friends of piracy were no longer 
169S the rulers in New York, he appears to have passed up the 
Sound, and deposited a part of his treasure on Gardner's 
Island. After several divisions of plunder, the crew dispersed, and 
Kidd veirturina: to appear in Boston in the dress of a fine gentleman, 
and, probably, with an assumed name,nvas met by Lord Bellamont, 
n)ade prisoner, and after the occurrence of some circumstance, 
which delayed the wishes of the Earl, as I shall hereafter mention, 
he was sent to England for trial. The treasure buried at Gardner's 
Island wa= discovered and delivered to Bellamont. A schedule 
of the gold and jewels remains in the hands of the heirs of Mr. 
Gardner to this day.* 

The knowledge that a portion of Kidd's treasure had been buried 
on Gardner's Island ; that his companions ha'd shared the fruits of his 
robberies at different times ; that other pirates infested the seas and 
returned to America with the gold for which they had exchanged the 
goods of merchants robbed on the ocean, all tended to create that 
feverish excitement, which stimulated bands of searchers after hidden 
wealth on every part of our sea coast, and particularly on the islets 
of. the Sound which had been the resort of vessels engaged in or 
suspected of piracy. 

Lord Bellamont arrived on the 2d of April, 1G98, and with 
him, as his lieutenant-governour, John Nanfan, Esq., who is called 

* The commissioners appointed to receive the treasure deposited by Kidd on 
Gardner's Island, found a box containing 738 ounces of gold, and b47 ounces 
of silver, besides jewels. 


in the Earl's letters, his cousin. Bellaniont likewise brought with 
him his countess, whom he had married ere she was yet twelve 
years of age, and as her family name was Nanfan, I am induced 
to suppose that the lieutenant-governour was her relative. 

Although the enemies of the family, whose cause the governour 
had espoused, were in office at the time of his arrival, (the council 
being composed of I'hillipsc, Van Cortlandt, Bayard, Mienville, 
Smith, Nicholl, Pinhorne, Willet and Lawrence,) and although 
the assembly led by James Grahame, had a majority of those 
who joined in persecuting Leisler, and although William Merritt 
was the mayor of the city, appointed by P'letcher, and James Gra- 
hame, recorder, with probably a majority in the common council, 
V\^ho coincided in opinion with the dominant party, yet I find that 
several days before Bellamont arrived, powder was ordered for 
saluting the new governour when he should enter the harbour : and 
two days after his commission was read, the mayor and aldermen 
voted an address to him, wherein humility and professions of obe- 
dience abound. They pray him to heal the divisions in the colony ; 
and a few days after invite him to a public dinner, appointing two 
aldermen, and two assistants, as a committee to make a bill of fare, 
and empower them, " for the effectual doing thereof, to call to their 
assistance, such cooks as they shall think necessary." There can 
be no doubt, but that the party in power trembled, and were con- 
science struck. It is to be observed, that Heathcote and Young, 
who had been advanced to the council in 1692, were not now of 
that body : neither does the name of Peter Schuyler appear. 

Notwithstanding the pressure from war and other calamities, 
attending the " grievous law," which took from the city the mono- 
poly of bolting flour and baking biscuit, and " placed at every 
planter's door the privilege" of bolting and baking, sdll Bellamont 
found the town extending and improving. An English church 
had been commenced, and was opened for publick worship in one 
year. This was Trinity church, which must have touched upon, 
or removed, part of the old wall. A pew was appropriated to the 
common council, and hither the mayor appointed by the gover- 
nour, the alderman and assistants repaired annually on the 14th of 
October, to hear the Reverend Mr. Vesey, and his English succes- 
sors, preach a sermon, though for a long time many of these dig- 
nitaries were Dutch ; after attending Episcopal service, they in 
procession marched to the fort, waited on the governour, and again 
returning to the City Hall, took the requisite oaths of office. A 
City Hall had been determined upon, to be built at the end of 
Broad Street, north of the old wall, and the former Stadt House 
fronting Coenties Slip, had been doomed to destruction — the land 
sold, and the rubbish removed. The new building which of course 
destroyed another portion of the wall, was completed during Lord 

VOL. I. 30 


Bellamont's administration, and the stones of the former bastion 
or wall, on which the pallisades were fixed, were used for this great 
work, in which were the halls of justice, the jails and dungeons of 
the city, for many years. The City Hall then built, was on the site 
of the now building Custom House of the United States, and being 
finished while Bellamont and Nanfan were the idols of the people, 
their arms, with the king's, decorated the front. We shall see the 
fate of these decorations as we pursue the history of the city.* 

Previous to the peace of Ryswick, the French monarch had deter- 
mined upon the conquest of New England, and for this purpose 
the Count Frontignac, had orders to keep the French troops in Ca- 
nada in readiness. He, however, remonstrated, and represented 
that the French force had better be directed against New York, 
which would deliver Canada from the much dreaded Iroquois, who 
impeded all the great designs of France, on the continent of Ame- 
rica. His plan was similar to that of the English, in our revolu- 
lutionary contest — a naval and military force to take New York 
city, and penetrate the province by the Hudson ; while the army 
of Canada, by the way of Lake Champlain, conquered the north 
and established themselves atAlbany. But the plans of the Court 
of Versailles prevailed; the Marquis of Nesmond, with an arma- 
ment, was to take Boston, and driv^e the English from Newfound- 
land. The old Count was to be brought by sea to the assistance 
of the Marquis. All this done, the united forces were to take New 
York, establish that place as a French city, and then subdue the 
province. But the fleet and the Marquis Nesmond returned to France 
without firing a gun, and Count Frontignac, was not called upon, 
to aid in the conquest of New England, and nothing of importance 
was undertaken against the Indians. 

Colden, in his History of the Five Nations, states, that the Iro- 
quois having heard of the peace concluded between England and 

* When the city had grown so great as to burst thelDonnds of the p.'ilisadoed wall, 
(which was situated where Wall Street is now built,) the houses began to be erected 
over a marsh, on the East river side, from the Half Moon, a little fort at the termi- 
nation of the palisades, to the site of the present Fulton Market. This marsh was 
bounded on the west by the high ground of Golden Hill, and was called the Vty, 
being an abbreviation of valley ; and from its owner it was denominated Smees Vly, 
soon changed by the Knglish into " Smith's Fly." Now, during Lord Bellamont's 
government, the Miiffde Padjc. or " Maiden Lane," which commenced on the high 
ground, or at " the Broadway," was continued through the Vly, and a " slip" formed 
which was called the " Countess's Slip," in compliment to the governour's lady, 
the Countess of Bellamont. At this slip, was afterwards placed the Fly Market. 

The fioldcn llcrirh, as the Dutch called it, is now only remembered by Gold street; 
but " Clitf street" retains the name Dirk Van der Cliff; and "John street," a part 
of which was called "Golden Hill," has still its original denomination, derived from 
John Harpcndingh, who gave to the Dutch congregation the ground on which the 
North church is built, and whoBC escutcheon is there preserved. 


France, in February, 1G98, pursued tlicir hunting near Lake On- 
tario, but were attacked by the Algonkins, at the instigation of Fron- 
tignac, and suffered some loss when unprepared for resistance. 

In April, the Earl of Bellamont despatched Colonel John Schuy- 
ler,* and a Dutch Clergyman of the name of Dellius, with tidings 
of the peace of Ryswick to Montreal, Father Charlevoix says, 
that the Earl's letter, was dated the 22nd of April, and reached the 
French Governour in May. Bellamont with these tidings sent all 
the French prisoners, taken by the English of New York, and pro- 
mised to order the Iroquois to deliver such as they held in capti- 
vity : he required of the governour of Canada, all subjects of the king, 
held by the French as prisoners, whctlier Christians or Indians. 

The count would not acknowledge that the Iroquois were sub- 
jects of New York or England, and insisted upon treating with them 
as people subject to France, who voluntarily considered the French 
King as their father. 

He required that the French detained among them should be 
brought to Canada, and threatened hostilities against the Indians, if 
they did not comply. 

The earl says, "I have sent this letter by Colonel Schuyler, 
member of the king's council for this province, with M. Dellius 
and two other gentlemen : they bring the prisoners which were 
held by our Indians." He doubts not but Frontignac will release 
all the subjects of the king in his power, as well Christians as In- 
dians ; that all amenities of peace may take place, etc. etc. Fron- 
tignac replied, that he would exchange or release the English and 
Dutch prisoners in his power ; that he never refused to make ex- 
changes during war, notwithstanding the ill treatment several French 
prisoners had experienced from the English, and the agreements 
violated by them; that he is persuaded the governour will not suffer 
Captain Flebusteir to be keep in chains and treated with 
extreme rigour any longer. He further said to Bellamont, 
that he could not comprehend, that he had charged the Messrs. S. 
and D. to demand the Iroquois prisoners in New France in exchange 
for Frenchmen ; that these Iroquois were, since last autumn, in 
treaty with him, and had left a hostage to guarantee their 
word: they are, he said, children disobeying their father, and 
had been under the domination of the King of France, before the 
English became masters of New York ; that his orders on this 
point were precise, and he must obey them. Nevertheless, this 

* Charlevoix seems to consider this Colonel Schuyler, as the celebrated Peter, 
the grandfather of Philip, so famous in our revolutionary contest; and this ideaseems 
to be conveyed by the expression of Bellamont, which makes Colonei Schuyler a 
member of tlie council. 


should not interrupt their good intelligence ; that he had taken 
measures to hinder the Indians domiciliated with the French from 
committing hostilities against the English settlements, &c. " Messrs. 
S. and D.," says the Jesuit, " dejjarted, charmed with the recep- 
tion they had met with." Some Indians soon after informed Fron- 
tignac that Bellamont had held a great council with the chiefs of 
the Five Nations ; that the Mohawks had told him that they were 
the masters of their soil, and had been long before the English 
appeared ; and had burnt, in Bellamont's presence, all treaties they 
had signed : they, however, promised the governour that they would 
hold the Indians they had as prisoners, until Frontignac sent back 
all the Iroquois he held. To this, Bellamont objected ; and re- 
quired the prisoners to be put in his hands, to be conducted to Mon- 
treal ; that he prohibited all hostilities against the French ; but as 
to their Indian allies, they were at liberty — but not with the In- 
dians domiciliated in the French colony. It was said, the Iroquois 
agreed to give Bellamont their prisoners, but did not fix the time. 
Frontignac saw that Bellamont wished to establish the sovereignty 
of England over the Iroquois, and that his (Frontignac's) part, was 
to divide them, by representing that the English wished to become 
masters of their country and persons. For this purpose, he invited 
them to come to Montreal, and sent his ao^ents amono- them. Some 
came to Montreal, where they were feasted and retained by caresses 
a long time. 

A second letter from Bellamont, only strengthened Frontignac's 
determination to gain the Iroquois. The Governour of New York 
wrote that he had a conference with the Five Nations ; that they 
desired to continue under the protection of England, and avowed 
subjection ; that they complained of the French and Canadian In- 
dians, who committed hostilities upon them because they were sub- 
jects of England ; that the French Indians had carried off a number 
of their people since the publication of the peace ; that he was sur- 
prised to find the Five Nations were not treated as subjects of the 
crown of England ; that they were such, could be proved to all the 
world ; that from Frontignac's letter, he understands that he acts 
by order ; that the injuries received by the Iroquois, were a cause of 
the last war, and he is astonished to find that they are repeated, in 
contravention of the treaty; that the King of England would not 
suffer any insult to be offered to his Indians ; that he has ordered 
them to be on their guard, and if attacked, to resist to the knife, and 
he would succour them. He says, the Five Nations wish him to 
drive away the French missionaries from them, and lo send them 
protestant ministers, and he has promised so to do. He requires 
Frontignac to prohibit the interference of the French priests or they 
will be subjected to the punishment awarded by the laws of Eng- 
land ; and threatens, "assuredly I will execute all that fall into 


my hands ; and the Indians have promised to send them to me." 
He says, if hostihties do not cease on the part of tlie Canadians, 
they must take the consequences: "the Indians will put in my 
hands the prisoners they have taken during the war, (more than a 
hundred,) provided, on your part, you release their countrymen." 
He wishes the count's determination, and, in the meantime, sends 
four Frenchmen, who, as he says, " our Indians have brought to 
Albany ;" that the Iroquois tell him, that Frontignac had 
sent word to the upper cantons, that if they do not come 
into Canada in forty-five days, he would march into their country 
with fire and sword. — " I send, to-day, my heutenant-governour, 
with regular king's troops, to oppose any hostihties you may under- 
take ; and I will arm my government to repulse you ; and make 
reprisals for any damage you may do our Indians." 

The Jesuit historian tells liis readers, that this high tone of Bella- 
mont's, indicates his w^ant of power — the English always do so, 
when they know they cannot sustain their pretensions. Frontignac 
replied, that the kings, their masters, had agreed to setde their 
boundaries : France only wishes to bring back her children by 
kindness, if she can — if not, by severity. He says, the Iroquois 
belong to France, and reject the dominion of England. 

During this controversy, Lord Bellamont visited Albany to carry 
his point with the Iroquois; and before the affair was brought to 
any conclusion, the French governour died, at the age of seventy- 
eight, on the 28th of November, 1698. 

Doctor Cadwallader Colden gives this version of the affair : — 
Bellamont ordered the Iroquois to bring the French prisoners, who 
were to be given up, according to the treaty of Ryswick, ascapUves 
held by English subjects, to Albany, there to be delivered to Count 
Frontignac, as so many prisoners to the arms of England. The 
French Governour of Canada would not allow this — as it placed 
the Iroquois in the light of subjects to Great Britain. He insisted 
that the Indians should bring the French prisoners to Montreal, and 
there deliver them as their captives. He threatened to continue 
hostilities against the Iroquois, if they did not comply. He further 
insisted that all the French Indians must be included in the peace. 
This last, the Iroquois refused, saying that they would be revenged 
on the Ottawas and Algonkins. They were embittered against the 
latter, particularly for the death of their hunters, who thought them- 
selves secured by the peace of Ryswick. "Must J," said a war- 
riour of the Iroquois, who was killed on this occasion, " Must /," 
who have made the earth tremble, die by the hands of children ?" 

Bellamont, hearing that Frontignac w'as preparing all his power 
for the chastisement of the confederates, sent as we have seen, Co- 
lonel John Schuyler, with the Dutch minister, Dellius, to Canada, 
notifying him of the peace concluded in Europe, and of his deter- 
mination to uphold the Iroquois. 

23S bellamoxt's administration. 

Doctor Golden mentions the parade made by the French, at 
Montreal, on occasion of the funeral of one of their Indians. " The 
priest that attended him at his death, declared that he died a true 
christian ;" and as a proof, gave his exclamation on hearing of the 
crucifixion : " Oh, had I been there, I would have revenged his 
death, and brought away their scalps !" 

At New York, Bellamont had to remedy the evils produced by 
Sloughter, Ingoldsby, &c : he had to rectify the abuses which 
Fletcher and his council had perpetrated, in their persecution of the 
Leislerians, and in cherishing the pirates. The earl informed the 
council that he had an affidavit, accusing Fletcher of permitting 
pirates to land their spoilsin the province, and that Mathias Nicholl 
had received ^800, as a reward for protecting them. The latter 
acknowledged the receipt of monies ; but not from known pirates. 
Fletcher was threatened with being sent home for trial ; but Nicholl 
was thought not rich enough for a trial at such a distance : he was, 
however, suspended from the council, and obliged to enter into a 
recognizance in .£2,000. 

As the governour had avowed his disposition to do justice to the 
friends of Leisler, and also his determination to wipe from the pro- 
vince the stain of encouraging piracy, the council were soon changed 
for men on whom he could rely. Pinhorne was first dismissed, 
on the 14th June: Brooke, the receiver-general was put out of 
office. The assembly was dissolved. 

When the governour returned from Albany, Bayard, Mienville, 
Willet, and Lawrence, were suspended : and on the 2Sth of Sep- 
tember, Abraham Depeyster, Robert Livingston, T. Weaver, and 
Samuel Staats, took seats at the board. Phillipse resigned, and 
Robert Walters took his place. The governour, lieutenant-gover- 
nour, and council were now Leislerian, or opposed to the corrupt 
aristocracy that had ruled. A new assembly was convened 
1699 on the 18th of May, 1699, and Philip French was chosen 
speaker. Li his opening speech, Bellamont said: " lean- 
not but observe to you what a legacy my predecessor has left me, 
and what difficulties to struggle with ; a divided people, an empty 
purse, a few miserable naked half starved soldiers, not half the num- 
ber the king allowed pay for ; the fortifications, and even the gover- 
nour's house, very much out of repair ; and, in a word, the whole 
government out of frame. It hath been represented to the govern- 
ment in England, that this province has been a noted receptacle of 
pirates, and the trade of it under no restriction, but the acts of trade 
violated by the neglect and connivance of those whose duty it was 
to have prevented it." He added : " I will take care there shall 
be no misapplication of the public money. I will pocket none of it 
myself, nor shall there be any embezzlement by others." He said, 


he should consider it the glory of his government, to find out some 
expedient to reconcile party spirit, and to provide against the abuse 
of elections. He recommended an increase of numbers in the 
assembly, from 19 to 30. The opponents of the governour had, 
however, prevailed in the elections of this assembly. 

A new assembly afterwards met, and, although it was com- 
posed of the friends of Leisler, as opposed to the aristocracy which 
had flourished under Sloughter, Ingoldsby, and Fletcher, yet they 
chose James Grahame their speaker; but Abraham Gouverneur, 
whe had adhered to Leisler, and who had been charged with the 
crimes of murder and treason by the enemies of Leisler, was now a 
member for Orange county, and an active, influential man with the 

Acts were passed for indemnifying those who were excepted out 
of the general pardon, of 1691 ; against pirates ; for the settlement 
of Milbourne's estate ; for presenting the governour and his lieu- 
tenant with .£1,500 and £500 ; for continuing the revenue six years 
longer ; and for regulating elections. 

About this time, the friends and adherents of Jacob Leisler, 
evinced their sense of the injustice that had been done to him and 
Milbourne, by removing their remains from the place in Avhich they 
had been interred, like malefactors, after the atrocious murder that 
had been committed by executing them, in a mockery of judicial 
proceedings. They accordingly disinterred their coffins, and with 
every mark of respect, buried them as martyrs to the cause of the 
people, in the Dutch Church, Garden Street. 

I find as one of the reasons given by LordBellamont, for removing 
Bayard from the council, among charges of a more grievous nature, 
" that he had advised the printing a scandalous and malicious pam- 
phlet, entitled a letter from a gentleman in New York," in which, and 
in a pamphlet printed at Boston, it was endeavoured to cast every 
species of odium upon Leisler, and the revolution he effected. 
And after Bellamont's decease, and the prevalence under Cornbury, 
of the aristocratick faction, I find among the "heads that com- 
plained against the Earl of Bellamont in his government of New 
York," the following. " He permitted, if not directed, the taking 
up at midnight, with sound of trumpet and drums, the bones of 

• This assembly were: — From A^ew ForA:, James Grahame, John Dcpeystcr, Da- 
vid Provoost. From Orange and Kings, Abraham Gonverneur, Cornehns Sebring, 
and Cornelius Van Brant. From Qiwcns, John Jackson and Daniel Whitehead. 
From Richmond, Thomas Morgan and Garret Veighte. From Westchester, John 
Drake and John Hunt. From Albany, Hendrick Hanson, John Jausen Bleeker, and 
Ryer Schermerhorn. From Ulster, Jacob Rutsen and Abraham Hasbrook. From 
Rcnnselaer, Killian Van Rennselaer. From Suffolk, Henry Pierson and Matthew 

240 bellamont's administration. 

Leisler and Milbourne, who had been buried in their own graves 
near nine years, and to lay in state some weeks, and afterwards to 
be pubUcly buried in the Dutch church, against the consent of the 
officers thereof, attended by a thousand men in arms, and a mob of 
1500 men, chiefly Dutch," to the great terrour " of the principal in- 
habitants." And his Lordship is charged with having " honoured 
the funeral, as it is said, by looking out of a window as it passed 

The reader will divest this, of the exaggeration of party, and it 
gives a picture of the times, and the people, not otherwise obtained. 

According to a work published in 1699, entitled " British Em- 
pire in America," New York then consisted of 1,000 houses. 
That the chief defence of the city consisted of the fort, and that 
two batteries had been erected — one on each side of the Narrows. 

Dellius, the clergyman who had been employed by Bellamont as 
a messenger to Count Frontignac, concerning the Indians, had been 
a commissioner for their affairs, and had, Chief Justice Smith says, 
fraudulently obtained Indian deeds for an immense tract of land — 
a grant for which, he found means to procure from Fletcher : and 
Nicholas Bayard had likewise obtained a grant for another immense 
tract of country. Pinhorne, with associates, obtained a patent for 
two miles on each side the Mohawk river, for fifty miles in extent. 
These extravagant patents, gained without any shadow of adequate 
compensation to the province, were recommended to the lords jus- 
tices as being vacated, and were accordingly vacated by law. Del- 
lius was suspended from the ministry. Thus Bellamont, by undo- 
ing the corrupt practices of his predecessors, opened a field for real 
settlers in these countries on advantageous terms for the province, 
and restored their rights to the Indians. 

Colonel Schuyler and others had been parties in these im- 
mense patents with Dellius, but had withdrawn their claims, 
indignant at the fraud by which the grants had been ob- 
tained. Delhus, Pinhorne, and one Bancker, under pretence 
of a deed of trust for the Mohawks, obtained a transfer in fee 
for themselves, and got a patent from Fletcher, reserving a nominal 

rent of a few skins, to be paid to the government.* 
1700 The abilities, firmness, and elegant manners of Lord 

Bellamont, combining with strict honesty and enlightened 
desire to promote the welfare of the province, raised the oppressed 
Leislerians, and went far to convince the aristocratical faction, or at 
least such of them as were accessible to just and honourable feel- 

* See Thomas F. Gordon's history, prefixed to his eicellent Gazeteer of New 


ings, of the enours they had coininilled and caused in their oppo- 
nents. The Leislerians were the people — the democracy of the 
province — and they found an efficient cliampion in I^ord Bellamont, 
who, at the same time, was the friend and champion of the honest 
part of tiie aristocracy, or gentry — "the people of figure" — the 
determined foe to the dishonest, selfish, supercillious intriguers, who 
had governed his unworthy predecessors. • 

M. de Callieres succeeded to the government of Canada upon 
the death oi' Fronlignac. Charlevoix, tells us, that the Iro- 
quois sent deputies to Montreal to condole for the loss of their 
father — or to gain intelligence. Callieres grants them a truce of 
sixty days, but insists upon their giving up their French prisoners. 
The new Canadian governour, attributing the hostile disposition of 
the Indians to Bellamont, sent secret emissaries to Onondaga, to 
counteract the governour of New York. The consequence is a 
visit of two chiefs to Montreal, who announce a general deputation 
from the Iroquois in July 1700 : and on the 2d of that month, two 
Onondagas, and four Senecas, appear, who are treated as ambassa- 
dors from the confederacy, and much state and ceremony used by the 
French to gain them. Feasting and presents of course. 

These ambassadors inform Callieres of a visit made to Onon- 
daga by Peter Schuyler, as an agent of Lord Bellamont, to per- 
suade the Iroquois not to send deputies to Canada, and to prevent 
these six chiefs from coming. They, however, complain of the 
Ottawas, or French Indians, who had, since the peace of Ryswick, 
and when the Iroquois thought themselves secure in hunting, at- 
tacked and killed several of their men and women. They demand 
that Callieres should send three officers with them on their return, 
to convince the nation that he desires peace. This is complied 
with, and a great council being held at Onondaga, a French priest 
harrangued the Indians, telling them that " Ononthio is their father, 
Corlaer only their brother ;" the Jesuit missionaries love them, and 
France wishes peace for their welfare. 

Other French agents talk to them in the same strain, and en- 
deavour to persuade the Indians that the power of France is to be 
dreaded ; but the fatherly love of the nation is boimdless. But 
an Englishman, says Charlevoix, accompanied by an Onondaga, 
arrived at the council, who tells them from Bellamont, not to listen 
to the French ; that he in ten or twelve days expects to meet the 
Five Nations at Albany. This lordly tone, the Jesuit says, dis- 
pleased the Iroquois ; and the missionary increased their discontent, 
by telling them, that the EngUsh treated them as if they were sub- 
jects; — that to avoid slavery they must be reconciled to their father. 

One of the French officers went to the Seneca nation to recover 
the prisoners. Liberty is given to the Frenchmen to return ; but 
the greater number being adopted, and pleased with the savage life, 

VOL. I. 31 


refused to return to civilization. While this was passing among 
the Senecas, the Iroquois held a general council at Onondaga, at 
which an officer of Lord Bellamont's was present. The Indians 
avowed their determination to visit Canada and conclude a peace 
with France. 

The Jesuits were displeased, however, by the admission which 
the Mohawks had given to Dellius, who before his degradation by 
the New York Assembly, acted among the Iroquois as a protestant 
minister. But this man appears to have been more intent upon 
securing property to himself as a commissioner for Indian affairs, 
than on making converts. The Jesuit says, a female Iroquois re- 
sided with the Dutch minister as an interpreter. 

Golden says, that when the French commissioners arrived at 
Onondaga, they approached with colours flying, and were met by 
the Iroquois orator, who introduced them under a salute of fire 
arms from the Indians. The council being met, the Jesuit made 
a speech, which was reported by the Iroquois to Lord Bellamont. 
He congratulated them on their determining to send chiefs to Ca- 
nada, notwithstanding that Corlaer (that is the governour of New 
York) had forbidden them — he regretted the death of the hunters 
killed by the Algonkins — "happily peace with France was concluded! 
but why is Corlaer adverse to this happy correspondence ^ The 
French are ready to restore, not only the captive Iroquois in their 
possession, but those held by their allies." The Jesuit offered to 
remain among them, and instruct them in Christianity : moreover, 
he would drive all diseases from them. He concluded by exciting 
their jealousy of Corlaer, for keeping the affairs of government 
secret from them, and not being so frank and communicative as 
the French. 

The Indians rejected the offer of remaining among them — they 
had accepted ministers from Corlaer. The Indian orator very 
fairly told the Jesuit, that the French priests had deceived them. 
" They preached peace, and at the same time their countrymen 
came and knocked us on the head." 

A peace however was concluded. The " liahitans'^ rejoiced, 
for they had experienced every evil that savage hostility could 
inflict. The French Indians were displeased. " We perceive," 
they said, " thatymr makes the French show more respect to their 
enemies, than love can make them show to their friends." 

M. de Callieres made the French Indians give up their Iroquois 
prisoners, though the latter had as yet surrendered none. In fact 
as we have seen the Frenchmen preferred the savage life. Some 
who were persuaded to return to their civilized friends, again fled to 
the Indians, and that unbred liberty or licentiousness, which they 
enjoyed among the Iroquois. This propensity to become savages, 


was at all times characteristick of the nation, and often complained 
of by the officers, who had the welfare of New France in view. 

The Jesuit historian, father Cliarlevoix, after mentioning Dellius 
and his female interpreter, says, he does not know when this mis- 
sion ceased, but that Bellamont drove the Dutch minister from 
Albany some years after.* He then speaks of protestants gene- 
rally as a Jesuit may be supposed to speak, and praises his own 
brethren accordingly. He says, the priest who directed the French 
embassy to Onondaga, did not make the acceptance of the protes- 
tant missionaries an obstacle to the conclusion of the treaty ; and 
when the ambassadors returned to Montreal, the Iroquois, with the 
exception of the Mohawks and Oneidas, sent deputies with them. 
At the conclusion of this treaty, the Hurons, Ottowas, and other 
French Indians, threw dieir hatchets at the feet of the Canadian 
governour, and signed the paper presented to them, after Callieres 
with the officers and priests, had written their names. The signing 
of the Onondagas and Senecas, Charlevoix says, was by tracing 
the figure of a sjnder ; the Cayugas signed with the figure of a 
calumet, or pipe. Apparently, says the Jesuit, although the Mo- 
hawks and Oneidas were not present, some one was commissioned 
to sign for them. The mark of the Oneidas was a piece of wood, 
forked, with a stone in the middle ; that of the Mohawks, a Bear. 
The Hurons drew a Beaver, and the Abessaquicks, a Hare. 
1701 After the death of Lord Bellamont, the French Indians 

and the Iroquois committed frequent hostiliues on each 
other ; and Callieres endeavoured to introduce the Jesuits among 
the latter, but generally in vain. 

On the 5th of March, 1701, Richard Coote, Earl of Bellamont, 
died, universally regretted by the greater portion of the people, and 
incalculably to the loss of the province of New York. I find, by 
the records of the corporation, diat the corpse was buried with be- 
coming honours : the streets of the city through which the proces- 
sion passed, were prejjared with due care. He was interred under 
the chapel of the fort; from which, I must suppose, that the corpse 
had been removed to the new City Hall, just finished, in Wall 
street, as the governour's place of residence was in the fort. A few 
days after, his coat of arms, carried in state, was placed in front of 
the new City Hall.t 

* "Jetrouve dans nies memoires que quelques aiines apres Dellius fut chassce 
d'Orange par M. de Bellamont." 

t Records of New York. On the 19th March, 1790, a committee was appointed 
to view the land at the fort and battery, and report the proper measures to be taken 
"for levelling the same." The committee reported, an extension of the battery ; 
and Messrs. . Stoutenberg. Curtenius and Pintard, were appointed to assist the com- 
missioners in removing the fort. 


In levelling the fort, it is said that the tablet, irfiich, with its inscription had been 
placed in front of the first church of New York, (built by Kieft, in IG42-3,) wa» 
found and removed to tlie Garden-street church. It is likewise said that the re- 
mains of the Earl and Countess of Bellamont were found, in leaden cottins, with 
silver plates engraved ; and that the cofiins were removed to St. Pauf s church, the 
silver plates deposited in Gardner Baker^s Museum, and on that property being 
disposed of, they were sold, and are lost. 

John F. Watson, Esq., in iiis book called " Historic Tales of Olden Time," 
says, that an old gentleman told him, " he saw the old fort cut down," and that the 
leaden coffins of Lord Bellamont and lady were found, and removed to St. Paul's 
church. This person is not here stated to have seen these coffins. In a manuscript 
on the same subject, deposited by Mr. Watson in the New York Historical Socie- 
ty's library, he says: " In taking down the ancient Dutch chapel vault, they came 
to the remains of Lord and Lady Bellamont, in leaden coffins, known by family 
escutcheons and inscriptions on silver plates. These coffins, with the bones of 
several other persons, were taken by Mr. Pintard, who told me, to St. Paul's 
church-ground, where they all rest now, in one common grave ; that the silver 
plates were taken by Mr. Vanzandt, for a museum ; but he dying, they fell into 
hands which, with much bad taste, converted them into spoons." — This is published 
in Mr. Watson's book, above mentioned. 

Mr. John F. Watson has told us what was told him, and much curious matter, 
for which we are very much obliged to him. The facts elicited by him during his 
short visits to New York, (and even the errours consequent upon so brief an ex- 
amination,) have led to further investigation, and much that is now known or will 
subsequently be discovered, must be credited to his ardent and persevering love of 
knowledge. Now, any person may see at this time, (1839,) that there is deposited 
with the New York Historical Society, part of a coffin and the remains of a silver 
plate, much decayed, on which neither arms nor inscription are to be seen. These, 
Mr. Pintard had reason to believe, from engraving to be seen in 1790, were the 
remains of the coffin and plate of Governour Bellamont. There being but one 
plate, contradicts, in some measure, the above story, told to Mr. Watson : and that 
plate being deposited in a state of decay, with the New York Historical Society, 
contradicts the notion of the two 2)lates being melted up for spoons. And as it is 
well known that Ludy Bellamont did not die until thirty-six years after the earl, 
and at a time v^-hen her eldest son, Nanfan, was Earl of Bellamont, it is not proba- 
ble that her corpse was, in 1737, brought over sea to be interred under the old 
Dutch church, in the fort of New York. 

It may be asked, why was the English Governojir of New York buried in the 
Dutch church, when the English church, called Trinity, had been recently erected ? 
This might either have been by his desire, and to show his detestation of Fletcher, 
and adhesion to the Leislerians, or, by the influence of the latter, after the earl's 

I am willing to believe, that the bones of Bellamont rest in St. Paul's church- 
yard, (if not subsequent!}- removed in the usual mode of transfer,) and that the 
parts of a coffin and plate, now to be seen, were devoted to his remains in 1701. 

I find a list of four chaplains to the fort — I presume, appointed b}' the English 
government. In 1683, the Reverend Mr. Gordon. In 1684, the Reverend Josias 
Clark. In 1692, the Reverend i^Ir. Miller. And in 1701, the Reverend John Pe- 
ter Brisac. 



Continuation of KidtTs affair — Fcrsecution of Robert Livingston — 
Reversal of the attainder of Jacob LeisJer, and restoration of jtro- 
ferty to the family — Lord Cornbimfs family and character — 
Bayard'' s trial and condemnation — Reprieve — Relief by the arri- 
val of Cornbiiry, and reversal of the judgement against him — 
Nanfan, and the assembly of 1702. 

1701 The adventures, piracy, trial and execution, of William 

Kidd, made so great a noise in America and England at 
this time, besides involving the good fame of many English nobles, 
that I must devote a page to the subsequent story of this unhappy 

The Tory party in England endeavouring to destroy the Whig 
ministry, charged them with abetttng Kidd in his piracies, and shar- 
ing the plunder. These gentlemen, as has been seen, had in con- 
junction with Bellamont and Robert Livingston, fitted out the Ad- 
venture Galley, and Kidd, on Livingston's recommendation, had 
been placed in command. 

When Bellamont seized Kidd in Boston, he imprisoned him, 
and wrote to the ministry for a king's ship, to send the pirate for 
trial to England. The Rochester was dispatched for the service. 

* The traditional place of resort for Kidd and his crew, was at Sachem's Head, 
a rocky peninsula, jutting from Long Island into the sound, near the town of 
Guilford. Stories oi' treasures found in this neighbourhood, are believed bv many, 
and some of them asserted upon good, or what ought to be good authority. Colo- 
nwl Stone, in his Commercial Advertiser, asserts that within the last eighteen 
months, a pot, containing SjljSOO, was ploughed up in a field upon Martha's Vine- 
yard. The Thimble Islands, near Sachem's Head, were asserted to have been the resort 
of Kidd. The largest of these, bears his name. They call another "Money Island," 
and it has been dug most industriously. Upon Kidd's Island is a cave, where it is 
said the pirates used to sleep. On the face of one of the rocks, are cut his initials, 
R. K., which are soberly given as testimony that Kidd frequented the place, and 
cut these letters. Unfortunately, the pirate's name was WiUiani, and not Robert. 
Every thing about this island is called Kidd's — a hole in the rock is his punch- 
bowl, and a flat rock is his table. 

There is a proclamation extant in the East Jersey proprietor's office, issued by 
Govemour Prasse. authorizing the arrest of Captain Kidd and his vessel. It is d« 
ted August 24th, 1699. 


and was driven back by stress of weather. The cry was then 
raised that this was all collusion — that the ministry feared to bring 
Kidd home because of their nefarious connexions with him. The 
j^arty even moved in Pai'liament, that all concerned in Kidd's ad- 
venture, might be turned out of office. Kidd at length was put 
upon his trial, with nine of his men, at the Old Bailey. The Earl 
of Portland, Lord Somers, the Earl of Oxford and Lord Hali- 
fax, having been impeached by the Tories, the fitting out of Kidd 
for the purpose of piracy, was made a charge against each of them. 
Endeavours were used to make the unhappy man criminate these 
gendemen ; but in vain, for the truth was too notorious to admit of 
his saving himself by accusing them. After many vexations and 
ceremony of a trial against each of these noblemen, they were all 
declared innocent, and acquitted with honour. 

Kidd and his nine men were found guilty of murder and piracy, 
in May, 1701, and accordingly executed. 

To return to New York : John Nanfan, Esquire, the Lieutenant 
Governour, was in Barbadoes in March, when the Earl of Bella- 
mont died ; and the aristoratick party seized the opportunity to en- 
deavour to undo all the good which the deceased governour had 
done for the province, or at least to revive in the most fierce and 
deadly force, the animosities which broke forth when the citizens 
raised the standard of Protestantism, and William of Orange. 

In a late instance, when Sloughter died suddenly, the aristocratick 
party, which composed the council, elected one of the body (Ingolds- 
by) to take the Gubernatorial chair ; that party were now a small 
minority, but one of them was the seniour member, they therefore 
insisted that in the absence of the Lieutenant Governour, their 
member from seniority was entitled to the chair of authority. The 
democratical majority pleaded the late precedent, in favour of an elec- 
tion. These were Abraham De Peyster, (to whom Bellamont's 
letters are addressed,*) Samuel Staats, Robert Walters, and Tho- 
mas Weaver. 

Colonel William Smith was the person claiming the chair by 
right, as being the eldest member of the council ; and he was sup- 
ported by Peter Schuyler and Robert Livingston, who, by absent- 
ing themselves, threw the government into perplexity. The assem- 
bly met, as convened on the 2d of April ; but the chair being va- 
cant, they adjourned from day to day. The majority of the council send- 
ing to them a statement of the controversy, they decided in favour of an 
election : a decision which. Smith says, was afterwards supported 
by the board of trade, in England. The dispute, however, con- 
tinued — the minority being principally supported by Livingston ; 

See Appendix S. 


and the assembly, doing no business, adjourned to tlie first Tues- 
day in June. In the mean time, the heulenant-governour arrived, 
and ended the controversy. 

This conduct of Robert Livingston, added to his never-forgotten 
or forgiven support of the Albany Convention of 16S9 — his 
thwardng the measures of Leisler, and finally aiding in bringing 
that unfortunate man, with his son-in-law, Milbourne, to an igno- 
minious death, as rebels and traitors, raised against him the decided 
animosity of the democradck party. The next assembly persecuted 
Livingston — called upon the lieutenant-governour to pray the king 
to remove him from his office of secretary of Indian affairs — and, 
in the meantime, to suspend him from the exercise of his commis- 
sion. Livingston had refused, likewise, to account for sums re- 
ceived by him, as collector of the excise ; and the committee for 
examining his accounts, charged him with the amount of ,£18,000, 
(an enormous sum in those days,) for which he did not produce 

The affairs of the city were likewise thrown into confusion by the 
same party spirit that perplexed the council and assembly. Mr. 
Noel, the mayor of the city, met with such opposition, that the busi- 
ness of the corporation was suspended. t 

During the brief rule of Lieutenant-governour Nanfan, the 
younger Leisler, under the influence of Bellamont and Livingston, 
(now again the enemy of the Leislerians,) obtained all the redress 
from the English ministry that the nature of the wrongs done to his 
family would admit. He petitioned for himself — for his nephew, 
the son of Milbourne — and for his father's friend, Gouverneur — 
and obtained an act of parliament, reversing the convictions, judg- 
ments, and attainders, passed by Sloughter's court, under the influ- 
ence of the " people of figure," against Leisler, Milbourne, and 
Gouverneur. The following is a letter to Lord Bellamont from 
Lord Jersey, secretary of state :| 

* The removal subsequently, by Sir John Johnson, of the books containing the 
transactions with the Indians, leaves us in the dark respecting many circumstances- 
connected with our history. 

AUhough Livingston was a favourite with the aristocratick party, when he op- 
posed Leisler from 1689 to 1690, and again when he opposed the Leisler- 
ians, in 1701, yet, while acting in conjunction witli Beilauiont, we may judge 
how Bayard and his party spoke of him, by " heads of charges against Beila- 
mont's government," irhcre, one is, the removing from the council " Colonel Bay- 
ard, Messrs. Mienviel, Pinhorne, etc., cansideralilc for riches, and putting in their 
places Abraham Depeyster, a merchant, Samuel Staats, a Dutch tmrlur surgeon, 
Robert Livingston, a Scotchman, the contriver of A'/V/f/'s piratical voijage, Robert 
Waiters, a son-in-law of Leisler's," etc. — three of whom ,the same document accu- 
ses of not being rich — and the whole are called " Leislerians." 

t See Appendix T. ^ 

t An abstract of the record, made of this dispute, will be found by the reader 
, under the head of miscellaneous matter. 


"My Lord, — Tlie king being moved upon the petition of Mr. 
Jacob Leisler, and having a gracious sense of his father's services 
and sufferings, and the ill circumstances the petitioner is thereby 
reduced to, his majesty is pleased to direct, that the same be trans- 
mitted to your lordship, and that you recommend his case to the 
general Assembly of New York, being the only place where he can 
be relieved, and the prayer of his petition complied with." 

This letter being laid before the house, money was ordered to 
be raised, and other measures taken to benefit the family of the 
murdered lieutenant-governour. 

It was soon known in New York, that the king had appointed 
Lord Cornbury to succeed the Earl of Bellamont, as governour of 
the province, and measures were taken by the aristocratick 
1702 party to secure this corrupt individual for their purposes. 
Nicholas Bayard again took the lead, and procured ad- 
dresses to be signed, to the king, to the parliament, and to Cornbury, 
representing Jacob Leisler and his adherents, as men who had 
acted from the beginning, solely with a view to their own interests, 
and had enriched themselves on the spoils of their neighbours. 
To Cornbury, they were profuse in their congratulations, and in 
assertions calculated to prejudice him against the present ruling 
party, and gain his patronage for themselves. Reflections were 
liberally cast upon the Earl of Bellamont and his lieutenant- 
governour, Nanfan, who was accused of bribing the house of as- 
sembly to support his measures. This, Nanfan no sooner heard, 
than he demanded the addresses from Hutchins, a tavern-keeper 
and an alderman, active in Bayard's service. Hutchins refused, 
and on the 19th, January 1702, was committed to jail.* 

The next day. Bayard, Rip Van Dam, (now first brought into 
notice,) Philip French, and Thomas Wenham, address the lieu- 
tenant-governour, justifying both Hutchins and the representations 
made to the English Court, and demanding the release of their 
partizan. But Nanfan saw that Bayard had fallen into a pit he him- 
self had prepared for others : for he had procured an act to be 
passed in 1691, when Leisler and his friends were devoted to ruin, 
by which, " whatsoever person or persons shall, by any manner of 
ways, or upon any pretence whatsoever, endeavour, by force of 
arms or otherwise, to disturb the peace, good, and quiet, of their 

* The lieutenant-governour and counril made the following order, on the 16th 
of January, 1701. "It is hereby ordered, that Alderman Jonathan Hutchins do 
appear before this board to-morrow, and produce the addresses to his majesty, to 
parliament, and to Lord Cornbury, which were signed by severalof the inhabitants 
of this city, and soldiers of the garrison in his (Hutchin's) house." Hutchins ap- 
peared, and for neglecting or refusing to deliver up the addresses, was committed 
to jail. 


majesties' government, as it is now established, shall be deemed 
and esteemed as rebels, and traitors unto their majesties', and in- 
cur the pains, penalties and forfeitures as the laws of England have 
for such offences, made and provided." On the 21st of January, 
the lieutenant-governour conmiitted Bayard to prison, on a warrant 
as a traitor. A commission of Oyer and Terminer was issued on 
the 12th of February, to William Atwood, chief justice, and 
Abraham De Peyster and Robert Walters, puisne judges of the 
Supreme Court. The trial of Bayard was hastened by party vio- 
lence and the apprehension of the arrival of Cornbury. 

Edward Hyde, by courtesy called Lord Cornbury, who was so 
anxiously looked for by Nicholas Bayard and the party that had 
flourished under Sloughter, Ingoldsby, and Fletcher, was the 
grandson of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, lord chancellor 
and prime minister of Charles II, and the son of the second 
Earl of Clarendon, who was brother to James the Second's queen, 
and never would take the oaths to William. Notwithstanding this 
affinity to James and his queen, and the adhesion of the second 
Lord Clarendon to the Jacobites, Cornbury, his son, who com- 
manded a body of cavalry, set the example of defection to James's 
army, by leading his troops to the standard of William, Prince of 
Orange. The government of New-York, to repair his dilapidated 
fortunes, and shelter him from his creditors, was at this time con- 
ferred upon him by William, and subsequently confirmed to him 
by Queen Anne, with that also of New Jersey. On the death of 
William and his consort Mary, Anne, the second daughter of 
James, came to the throne. Thus, Cornbury, who as the reader 
will perceive, was the queen's cousin, had the immediate support 
of royalty. That he was one of the most worthless and rapacious 
of men, the records of New Jersey and New York attest. 

Although such was the man the aristocratical party hoped to gain, 
or already knew they had gained, nothing can justify the indecent 
manner with which the trial of Bayard and Hutchins was conducted. 
Upon the commitment of the prisoners, the city militia were called 
out, and a company required each day to guard them, until the 
citizens complained, when this military guard was removed. The 
court, composed of William Atwood, chief justice, with Abraham 
De Peyster and Robert Walters, who were to try the prisoners by 
special commission, were known to have condemned them before 
trial, and Weaver, who carried on the prosecution, was a party man. 
The prisoners petitioned that they might not be tried until the usual 
sitting of the Supreme Court. This of course was refused; and 
a verbal answer given to Bayard's son, that out of mere " grace the 
court should be deferred for five days." 

On the 19th of February the court sate. The grand jurors who 
appeared, with the exception of three or four, were Dutch. Some 

VOL. 1. 32 


of the jurors were objected to, as having said, " that it* BayardV 
neck was made of gold he should be hanged."* But the court 
overruled the objection. Atv/ood charged the jury, and the court 
adjourned to the next day. 

The 20th, Mr. Weaver being appointed solicitor, insisted upon 
being with the jury. Corbett, Cooper, Cortlandt, and De Key, 
protested against his presence, and insisted upon their right to send 
for such persons as they pleased. Weaver threatened that he 
*' would have them trounced," — whereupon the jury broke up. In 
the afternoon the court met and sent for the jury. Weaver com- 
plained of the opposition to his will, and the court dismissed the 
refractory jurors, and sent for Boelen. The jury separated without 
finding a bill, and Atwood, the chief justice, was heard to say, "if 
the grand jury will not find a bill against Bayard, I will bring an 
information against him for high treason, and try him upon that." 

On the 21st, the grand jury brought in a bill endorsed, " billa 
vera," signed by the foreman. The counsel for the prisoners, 
Messrs. PsichoU and Emot, objected to the bill, that it was not found 
by twelve jurors. All objections were overruled, and Bayard was 
ordered for trial on Monday, the 2d of March. 

When the court met, Nicholl, who had been mayor of the city, ob- 
jected to the indictment as illegal. Weaver replied, " when you 
had the government, Dr. Staats had a bill found against him by 
eight men of a jury of fifteen." Nicholl said, that he never heard 
of it ; but if true, it was no precedent. The prisoner was brought 
to the bar, and charged with rebellion and treason, for conspiring to 
procure mutiny and desertion among soldiers in the pay, and be- 
longing to tlie garrison of fort William Henry : and for procuring 
them to sign libels against the present government. The prisoner 
pleaded, " not guilty." 

On the 6th of March, Nicholl moved to postpone till the next 
morning. " No," said Atwood, " we shall not give Mr. Vesey an 
opportunity for another sermon against us." From this it appears, 
that the Minister of Trinity Church, was enlisted with the Bayard 
faction, or aristocracy : and we shall find that Cornbury was a per- 
secutor of presbyterianism. 

On the 7th, upon the non-appearance of the attorney general, 
the chief justice, Atwood, ordered a minute to be made, that the 

* As the names show the state of society at thi« time in New York, I preserve 
them. Johannes I)e Peyster, (foreman,) liavid Provoost, Martin Clocii, Lcendert 
Hnggin, Barent Reynders, Johannes Van der Speigell, Johannes Outman, Peter 
Van Telbnrgh, Johannes Van Geisen, Abraham Kettletas, Hendrirk Gillisen, 
Aryen Hoogilant, WiUiam Jackson, Joim Corbett, Johannes Van Cortlandt, Caleb 
Cooper, John Van Hoorn, Burger Afynders, Gerrit Van Iloorii, Jacobus de Key, 
Abraham Kipp, and Johannes Van Zandt; (Jacob Balen and Johannes Hardcn- 
brook did not appear ) 


attorney general, hath neglected hi.s majesty's service. He then 
proceeded thus : " it is no wonder, people here contemn his ma- 
jesty's authority, since the attorney general, though commanded 
to prosecute by the government, hath neglected to do the same, and 
given an opinion directly contrary to the lieutenant-governour 
and council." 

A petition was delivered in by young Bayard, the prisoner's son, 
praying that the indictment might be set aside, as not found by 
any twelve jurors, " though the most part of them, as is evidently 
known, are your prisoner's mortal enemies," on account of the un- 
happy divisions in the province. But if the court persists, he then 
petitions, that he may be tried by Englishmen, or of English ex- 
traction, the jury selected being all Dutch, and several so igno- 
rant, " that they can neither read nor write, nor understand the 
English language." He further says, that the petit jury are most 
of them "handicraft and labouring men." 

Atwood ordered a minute that the petition was read, and that 
the court found that the indictment was found by more than twelve 
jurors. The trial proceeded before a jury, all Dutch. The soli- 
citor, Mr. Weaver, in a violent speech, accused the English inha- 
bitants of endeavouring to introduce popery and slavery. Bayard 
being the leader. He accused the enemies of Leisler, as opposers 
of a government that was now justified at home, as being legal. 
He accused the adherents of Bayard, as a nest of pirates, who had 
offered the late Lord Bellamont " a reward of =£10,000, to connive 
at their piracies, and ^100 to himself to solicit it." 

The court was adjourned from day to day, Mr. Emot,* being 
the principal advocate on the part of Bayard, who was found guilty, 
and being asked if he had any thing to say why sentence should not 
be pronounced, answered, "nothing but what my counsel have of- 
fered, and what is contained in my petitions." Atwood, then in the 
hardest and most unfeeling manner, pronounced the horrible sen- 
tence then customary upon traitors. 

The prisoner then asked, whether he might have leave to answer 
his honour's speech, made before sentence : but was answered, "no." 
He replied, " then God's will be done." Hutchins was con- 
demned in like manner. 

Bayard applied for a reprieve, until his majesty's pleasure might 
be known, which was granted. Hutchins was with more ease re- 
leased on bail. But Bayard was not released from confinement 
until after the arrival of Cornbury: all was then reversed: At- 

* It is a curious circumstance, that Mr. Emot, one of the counsel for Bayard, 
advanced the doctrine, not admitted in England until long atler, that " the jurj- am 
judges both of law and fact," as Andrew Hamilton did, in 1735. 


wood and Weaver, fled to England, and subsequently Queen 
Anne's government, directed Lord Cornbury to reinstate Bayard 
and Hutchins in all honour, and estate, " as if no such trial had 

The reader, upon retrospection, will see that Nicholas Bayard 
was a most active, persevering, and occasionally suffering, political 
leader, at least for thirteen years. He opposed the putting down 
the government of James II, by Leisler, and the inhabitants of New 
York ; he was obliged to fly to Albany, and there continue his op- 
position to Leisler, though avowedly advocating the revolution of 
16S8 ; he ventured to New York, and suffered imprisonment as a 
traitor ; and to obtain release, made most humiliating confessions 
and concessions : no sooner released by Sloughter, than he re- 
sumed his former intrigues to the death of Leisler and Milbourne; 
he attends Fletcher and aids him in the attempt to break the char- 
ter of Connecticut : he is always opposed to the people, and he 
appears an active member of the government, until removed and 
accused by Bellamont, on whose death he again raises the standard 
of (what he had himself made,) sedition and rebellion ; is tried, con- 
demned, and after much suffering, again released and relieved by the 
triumph of his party, on the accession of Cornbury. 

Nanfan continued his opposition to the aristocratick party as long 
as possible. He erected a court of exchequer : convened the as- 
sembly who approved of his late measures, and passed an act de- 
claring that the king could not erect a Court of Equity in the pro- 
vince, without the consent of the legislature : they likewise de- 
clared, that only the general assembly could impose taxes on the 
colony Nanfan outlawed French and Wenham, (who had fled,) 
and removed Robert Livingston from the council. But the arri- 
val of Lord Cornbury, as governour, lifted the one party again, 
and depressed the other. 




Colonial government — Cornhurrj relieves Bayard, and avows himself 
leader of the aristocracy — Yelloiv fever of 1702 — Coruhury a 
zealous Episcopalian — Affairs of the Iroqnoisand Canada — Peter 
Schuyler'' s efforts — Queen Anne appoints- Cornhury to the govern- 
ment of New Jersey, with New York — His instructions topiro- 
mote religion, and the increase of African slavery — English navi- 
gation act — Cornbury unites both parties m a detestation of himself 
— He is superceded, and thrown into jail by his creditors — Becomes 
Earl of Clarendon, and a Peer of Great Britain — Lovelace, 
govcrnour — His death. 

Before entering upon the administration of Lord Cornbury, 
let us take a view of the colonial government of New York. 

Though the people had a share in governing themselves, and the 
power, of granting or withholding money intended for the benefit of 
the province, the crown of England held and exercised the greater 
power, of appointing two-thirds of that legislature necessary to the 
formation of a law ; and a veto upon any such act, even when thus 
passed for the good of those subject to it. 

The governour and lieutenant-governour were always appointed 
by the king, and the council either by the king or the governour. 
The council was both executive and legislative, and was limited to 
twelve, of whom three formed a quorum. The governour could 
convoke, dissolve, or prorogue the assembly, suspend from office 
the lieutenant-governour, or any of the council, and fill the vacancy. 
He could, if the council was reduced to less than seven, fill up to 
that number. He could, with his council, erect courts, appoint 
judges and justices of the peace, pardon offenders, treason and mur- 
der excepted. He could dispose, by warrant, with the consent of 
his council, of all public monies, grant crown lands, and appoint fairs 
and ports. 

The salary of the governour was, at this time, fixed and paid by 
the assembly. James Grahame, Esq., a Scotch gentleman, who 
has published on our colonial history, and deserves our gratitude, 
says, the governour received about il,500 from the assembly, and 
in perquisites, as much more. It has been remarked, that the go- 
vernours of New York were land jobbers, engrossing for themselves, 
or patenting for their favourites, or those they wished to bribe or 
buy, a great proportion of the province. The land was thus farmed 


out, or retained in a state of unproductiveness, which obstructed co- 
lonization by the free poor, and encouraged slave population. The 
reader has seen the efforts of Bellamontto remedy this evil.* 

Be^de the inferiour courts, the province had its Supreme Court, 
and the chief justice had ^300 a year. In cases above j£100, 
appeals miglit be made to the governour and council. In those of 

more than ^-£-300, to the king and privy council. 
1702 Cornbury, on his arrival, not only relieved Bayard, but de- 
clared himself the head of the party : but he soon conducted 
himself, and the affairs of the province, so as to make those who most 
desired his presence and countenance, ashamed of him ; and by 
his violence, rapacity, and oppression, united both parties in oppo- 
sition to him, and, in some measure, by this common sentiment, 
the discordant elements of two factions, naturally irreconcileable.t 

On the 3d of May, 1702, Lord Cornbury, a man hunted out 
of England by a host of hungry creditors, came to the government 
of New York, the office protecting him from those he had injured, 
and affording him an opportunity of injuring others. The council, 
at this time, was composed of William Atwood, (who fled from 
Cornbury and the party, first to Virginia, and then to England,) Col. 
William Smith, Col. Peter Schuyler, Abraham De Peyster, (the 
friend of Bellamont,) Samuel Staats, Robert Walters, Thos. Wea- 
ver, (all Leislerians, and the latter immediately flying,) Sampson 
Shelton Broughton, Wolfgang William Romar, William Lawrence, 
Gerardus Beekman, and Rip Van Dam. 

Col. Caleb Heathcote and Dr. Bridges were called to supply the 
places of Atwood and Weaver. 

A short time after Cornbury's arrival, the yellow fever was 
brought from St. Thomas, and proving very fatal in New York, the 
governour removed to Jamaica, L. I., there held his courts, and 
displayed his character-! A new assembly met him, composed of 
the party he had espoused, having been elected after his arrival. 
War having been declared by England against France and Spain, 

* The laws respecting slaves discouraged inanuniission by a heavy fine : and no 
Negro, Indian or Mulatto, though free, could acquire property in house or land. 
(See laws from 1691 to 1718.) 

t See Appendix U. 

X I call this the yellow fever, although it was not so called in J 702. I have seen 
somewhat of this disease, and was resident at Perth Amboy at the time mentioned 
by Dr. Ilosack, in the following note. " During the year 1811, the yellow fever 
was also introduced into the city of Amboy, New Jersey, iVoni the Havana, but did 
not spread beyond those persons who were first attacked in consequence of their 
immediate exposure to the air of the infected vessel. The local circumstances of 
Amboy, its elevated situation, its dry and sandy soil, its wide streets and spacious 
houses, their distance from each other, and the remarkable cleanliness of the town, 
most satisfactorily account for the sudden extinction of the disease, while tlie evi- 
dence of its importation nuist be admitted to be conclusive."' 


he obtained ^1,S00 for the defence of the frontiers ; and from the 
same partizans, =£2,000 to pay the expense of his voyage.* 

The first acts of Lord Cornbiiry, which struck at his popularity, 
proceeded from what was called his zeal for the establishment of the 
Episcopacy, as practised by the Church of England, and fixing upon 
the people of the province a state religion. It seems unfortunate 
for the Church of England that its first advocates should he such 
despicable wretches as Sloughter, Tngoldsby, Fletcher, and Corn- 
bury, men whose acts declared them to be utterly void of Christian 
faith, the love of God, or their neighbour. The establishment of 
Episcopacy, and the ritual of the church as adopted in England, 
was a political measure ; and it is not strange that the government 
should endeavour to spread the same influence over the colonies, 
as it was a safeguard against popery and the means of increasing 
power ; but for this purpose the ministry were peculiarly unfortunate 
in employing such vile instruments. 

When the gallant fjovernour, Petrus Stuyvesant, was forced, by 
the will of the people, to surrender New Netherland to a superior 
force, he stipulated for librrtu of conscience and cinirc/i government then 
and forever. NicoUs granted it, and it was as fully secured to the 
colonists as their lands, houses, and personal property. The reli- 
gion of the province was Calvanistick. The reformed religion, in con- 
formity to the word and decrees of the Synod of Dordrecht, (or Dort) 
was professed by the Dutch : the English who had become inhabitants 
of the province were presbyterians from New England. In tl)e 
articles of surrender, it might be said that NicoUs only granted liberty 
of conscience, "in divine worship and church government," to the 
Dutch : but he afterwards published an instrument to encourage 
setders, in which he says, " in all territories of his royal highness," 
which included New Jersey, "liberty of conscience is allowed, pro- 
vided such liberty is not converted into licentiousness, or the distur- 
bance of others in the exercise of the protestant religion." 

The Dutch of Long Island were of the professed religion of the 
Synod of Dort ; their church government the classis of Amsterdam, 
untiI1772, when the Dutch church of America established an inde- 

* At a council held at Jamaica, Queens County, the 7th day of November, 1702, 
present his excellency, Edward Lord Cornbury, and William Smith, S. Shelton 
Broughton, William Lawrence, Rip Van Dam, and Caleb Heathcote, Esqrs. 

Ordered that the mayor and common council cause the act for levying and col- 
lecting £LBOO for the raising, paying and maintaining 150 fusileers, w'ith their pro- 
per otficers, for five months ; and thirty men with their proper oflicers to be em- 
ployed as scouts sixty -two days, for the defence of the frontiers. To be published 
at the City Hall with all possible expedition. By order of his Excellency, in coun- 
cil. — B. Cozens, County Clerk. 

The reader will remember, that the New City trail was finished during the ad- 
ministration of Bellamont, and that a.s soon as Cornbury avowed himself, the arms 
of Bellamont and Nanfan were destroyed by the aristocracy. 


pendent classis and Synods like those of Holland. Hempstead had 
a minister from Stamford, a presbyterian. Jamaica, (originally Rust- 
dorp) settled a minister early. Episcopal churches were established 
in some towns, and Quakers formed societies in Oyster Bay and 

Everywhere the people felt that they had the right secured to them 
of v/orshipping in their own way, listening to such ministry as suited 
them, and paying them {and onhj such) for their services. Fletcher, 
as we have seen, by means of the aristocratick party, procured an 
act of assembly to be passed for establishing certain ministers in 
some of the towns or counties, who were to be paid by a tax upon 
all the inhabitants generally. His intent was to make the people 
recognize the Church of England; and forced the dissenters to pay 
for ministers of that church, with liberty to maintain preachers of 
their own. Cornbury went further. 

When he was driven by the fever, which prevailed at New York, 
to seek refuge at Jamaica, the Rev. Mr. Hubbard, presbyterian 
minister, resided in the best house in the town, which was provided 
by the people who had built a church for him to preach in. The 
noble governour borrowed this house — who could refuse Lord 
Cornbury? The clergyman removed to inferiour quarters. But 
there were people in Jamaica who were episcopalians ; they had no 
church and no parsonage-house, or glebe ; and the governour, in 
return for Mr. Hubbard's hospitality, seized the church, house and 
glebe for the members of the Episcopal Church ; for he had instruc- 
tions which required that the governours of the plantations should 
"give all countenance and encouragement to the exercise of the 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, as far as conve- 
niently might be."t 

His Lordship thought this seizure " conveniently might be ;" 
Mr. Hubbard, and the majority, not only of the people of Jamaica, 
but mankind, thought otherwise ; and this infamous transaction, 
was one ingredient in the chaUce of which he was subsequently 
forced to drink, but not before he had played a number of mad or 
fantastick tricks only to be expected from a drunkard. 

Another article in the instructions given to provincial governours 
must not be omitted, by which any schoolmaster was prohibited 
from teaching, unless licensed by the governour :f and those coming 
for that purpose from England, must produce a license from the 
Bishop of London. 

* Wood's History of Long Island. 

t Smitii says, in his History of New York, that the proprietors of the 
church resisted, "tore up the seats, got possession, for a time, of the house and 
key, which was again taken from them by violence : that Cornbury harrassed them 
by prosecutions, fines, and imprisonments." 

\ Weekly Mercury, Now York, 1755. 


The house of assembly, which met Lord Cornbiiry at Jamaica, 
was generally composed of the party, at the head of which the go- 
vernour appeared. They declared in answer to his first address, 
that " they -vere not sufficiently able to express the satisfaction they 
had, both in their relief and their deliverer." 

Lord Cornbury, though appointed by William III, did not ar- 
rive at New York, until after the death of that prince, which took 
place on the 8th of March, 170 L, and the throne was occupied im- 
mediately by Anne ; under whom the war with France was conti- 
nued, and of course the hostilities of New France or Canada are 
ceaseless towards New England, and New York, as are the in- 
trigues with the L'oquois. 
1703 M. de Callieres dying, the government of Canada devolved 
on M. Vaudreuil, the governour of Montreal. The Iroquois 
were averse to receiving French missionaries, but wished to hold out 
prospects of permanent alliance with Canada. The Indians and 
the French appeared to strive which should outdo the other in ar- 
tifice and flattery : though occasionally " Ononthio," threatened the 
Iroquois. A deputation of Senecas visited iNLontreal, and the gover- 
nour "caressed them greatly." The chief of the Senecas, is made 
by Charlevoix to say, that the belt he gives the governour, conveys 
to France, the soil, and absolute dominion of the lands of the Se- 
necas ; that they, as children, are to be protected by their father; 
and he, the speaker, will die before the missionaries shall be driven 
away. A French agent returned with this deputation, to remain 
among the Senecas. This state of neutrality between Canada and 
the Iroquois, protected the frontiers of New York, and enabled the 
borderers to carry on advantageous trade, of which New England 
complained. Cornbury was accused of withholding the aid of 
the Five Nations, from New England, for the advantage of New 
York. The French, and other Indians, burnt Deerfield ; deputa- 
tions were carried on upon New England settlements, and the in- 
habitants of Albany were charged with supplying the Indians, who 
ravaged New Hampshire, with arms, and with afibrding a market 
for the spoil. This is recorded by James Grahame, in his history 
of the United States, who at the same time, adds, that Colonel 
Schuyler, and others, endeavoured to counteract this conduct, and 
that Schuyler exerted himself to discover the projected expe- 
ditions of the French and their allies, " and was able, on some oc- 
casions, to forewarn the people of Massachusetts of approaching 

It is certain that the French of Canada abstained from sending 
their savages upon the New York settlements, and turned them 
upon New England. The governour was evidently afraid that the 
Iroquois would be induced to commence hostilities again. " Te- 
gannessorens," says Charlevoix, when at Montreal, told the gover- 

voL. I. 33 

258 Schuyler's efforts. 

DOur, that the Europeans made peace, and then without, or when 
it suited them, " took up the hatchet again." Wliy then may not 
the Iroquois do the same ? A party of Iroquois, when hunting near 
Cadaraqui, (fort Frontignac,) had been attacked by the Ottawas 
and Miamies, and " Pitre Schueller, gouverneur d'Orange," that is, 
Peter Schuyler, Mayor of Albany, had called upon the Five Na- 
tions to revenge this injury, sustained near a French garrison, and 
on their own land. He persuaded them, the Jesuit says, to break 
with France. 

The French governour had two agents with the Senecas, who 
informed him that the governour of Orange, (that is Colonel Peter 
Schuyler, the Mayor of Albany,) had called a meeting of the Iro- 
quois at Onondaga, and intended to oblige them to drive off the 
missionaries ; that is, the priests and Jesuits who acted as spies. 
They likewise inform Vaudreuil, that Schuyler intended to excite 
the Iroquois to oppose the French Indians in their hostilities car- 
rying on against New England. That he likewise wished the Mo- 
hawks to send back the IMohicans dwelling among them, to their 
former dwellings near Albany ; and to gain permission for the 
Indians of the far west to pass through the country of the Iroquois 
for the purposes of trade with New York. 

All this was probably the wish of Colonel Schuyler, and he had 
the authority of Cornbury for endeavouring to efiect measures of 
which the governour knew not the advantage. In April of this 
year, he visited Albany, and had discretion enough to leave 
both plans and execution for the defence of the frontiers, and man- 
agement of the Indians, to Peter Schuyler. The governour re- 
turned to New York. 

It appears from father Charlevoix, in his history, that the garri- 
son of the French at Detroit, had some misundei'standing with the 
neighbouring Indians, who attempted to burn their fort. The Se- 
necas likewise sent agents to INIontreal to complain of hostilities 
committed by the Ottawas. M. Vaudreuil promised ample satis- 
faction, and required of them to be at the council called by the 
English at Onondaga ; and to prevent any measures that might be 
attempted against the French interest. He felt secure of the Onon- 
dagas, because of his agents who resided among that tribe. 
1704 The Senecas departed with the instructions of the gover- 
nour of Canada, and met Colonel Schuyler at the council 
of the confederates, held in the great castle for deliberation, at 

The three principal French agents were present, and the Jesuit 
historian says, they " manoeuvred so well, that the council separated 
without concluding any thing." Schuyler did not intermit his ef- 
forts, and meeting some of the French converts, or Caugnawahgas, 
at a Mohawk castle, he prevailed upon them, by means of presents, 


to follow him to Schenectady, where he exhorted them to remain 
neutral, and endeavoured to prevail upon them to remove to the 
province of New York, or to return home to the Mohawks. These 
Caugnawaghas, carried the colonel's belts of wampum and pro- 
position to their fellows, and they were accepted ; but the French 
interfered immediately, and the belts were sent back as rejected. 

The reader cannot but remark in all this, the persevering efforts 
of Colonel Schuyler for the service of the English colonies ; and 
the deteriorated state of the Iroquois, since their intimate connec- 
tion with Europeans. The policy of the French was to keep the 
Iroquois quiet, while the allies of the Canadian government ravaged 
New England. On the other hand, Schuyler wished to aid the 
sister colonies, by instigating the Iroquois against Canada. " Pre- 
serve a neutrality with the Five Nations," — such was the instruc- 
tions \'audreuil received from home — " unless you find a good 
opportunity to strike them a blow that shall destroy or cripple them, 
without incurring expense to the king." The Iroquois, when first 
seen by Europeans, had all the proud virtues of Spartans — a na- 
tion of conquerors, oppressors, and murderers. They were, and 
felt themselves superiour to all around them. They were more 
wise in council, and more bold, as well as expert in the arts of de- 
struction, than any people* they knew. Every individual moved 
proudly as a freeman, knowing no superiour but the more wise 
and valiant of his nation, and preferring deatii to dishonour. But 
when they met Euiopeans, they were at first dazzled by the supe- 
riour knowledge and power, arts and arms, of the strangers. 
They became lowered in their own estimation ; they submitted to 
be influenced by the intrigues, and debauched by the presents of 
the white men. They by degrees gave up independence for blan- 
kets, guns, powder, lead, and rum : such they appear in 1704, but 
they had not yet quite fallen. 

In 1702, the proprietors of New Jersey not proving equal to 
self government, after many and repeated quarrels, made a formal 
surrender to Queen Anne of all their jiowers, " to govern and rule 
the provinces of East Jersey and West .Jersey," and her " most 
gracious majesty," having on tiie 17th day of April, 1702, accept- 
ed the surrender, immediately appointed Edward, Lord Vis- 
count Cornbury, governour of New Jersey. 

The conunission was directed to the queen's trusty and well be- 
loved Edward Hyde, Esq., conmionly called Lord Cornbury. It 
reunites the two into one province, and directs him to govern by 
the laws and statutes made and agreed upon by him, "with the ad- 
vice and consent of the council and assembly," to appoint courts, 
judges, etc. He had the usual power over the council, and the 
assembly was to be elected by the majority of freeholders, with 
powers similar to those of New York. 


The governoiir was instructed to call one general assembly for 
the United Provinces : to sit first at Perth Amboy, and then at 
Burlington, and afterwards alternately in those two places. The 
voters (by an amendment) were to possess freeholds of at least one 
hundred acres, or personal property to the value of <£50 sterling. 
Duties, etc., to be the same in New Jersey and New York. Li- 
berty of conscience granted to all persons except papists. The 
solemn affirmation of quakers to be taken instead of an oath, and 
they are to be received as members of the council, inasmuch as 
the number of inhabitants Jit fo7- such like offices is small. Captains 
of vessels of war to be prohibited from the impressment of their 
sailors. By the sixty-ninth article, Cornbury is directed to " take 
especial care, that God Almighty be devoutly and duly served ;" 
" the book of common prayer, as by law established, read each 
Sunday, and holy day, and the blessed sacrament administered 
according to the rites of the church of England." Ministers of 
each orthodox church are to be furnished with a house and glebe at 
the common charge. Preferring ministers to benefices, belongs to 
his Lordship, provided they have a certificate from the Bishop of 
London ; whose jurisdiction is to take place as ^^ far as conveniently 
may be.'''' His lordship is enjoined to punish drunkenness, swear- 
ing, and all kind of vice ; and to give all possible encouragement 
to trade and traders ; "particularly to the Royal African Com- 
jpany of England,''^ and recommending the said company to take 
especial care that the said province may have a constant and suffi- 
cient supply oi merchantable negroes, at moderate rates.* And as to 
this trade in negroes, he (Lord Cornbury,) is to give an account 
to the queen of the number with which the province is yearly siip- 
plied, and at what rates. Thus among one hundred and three ar- 
ticles of instruction, for the conduct of the governour and the good 
of the province, especial care is taken that God Almighty shall be 
duly served, and an ample supply of negroes be brought into the 
colony for the encouragement of the Royal African Company, and 
good of all parties ; these negroes being doomed to hopeless slavery 
in a foreign country, after being kidnapped, or otherwise torn from 
their homes, and forced, in chains and dungeons, upon the colonists. 

His lordship is to endeavour to get a law passed for the restraining 
inhuman severity to christian servants and slaves : and to punish 
with death the wilful killing of Indians and negroes, and a fit pe- 
nalty for maiming them. In case of the governour's death, or ab- 
sence, if no lieutenant-governour be provided, the oldest counsellor 
is to administer the government. 

* Thus we see the queen equally zealous for the propagation of the Church of 
England and of negro ?lavery. 


As among these instructions, care is to be taken to enforce the 
English Navigation Act. I will here place before the reader an 
abstract of that important document, which was more felt in New 

York than in the agricultural province of New Jersey. 
1660 It was enacted, that no commodities should be imported 

into any British settlement in Asia, Africa, or America, or ex- 
ported from thence, but in vessels built in England, or her colonial 
plantations, and navigated by crews of which the master, and three- 
fourths of the sailors, should be English subjects. Penalty, for- 
feiture of ship and cargo. None but natural born subjects of the 
English crown, or persons legally naturalized, should exercise the 
occupation of merchant or factor, in any English colonial settle- 
ment. No sugar, tobacco, cotton, wool, indigo, ginger, or dye 
stuffs, (wood) produced or manufactured in the colonies, should be 
shipped from them, to any other country than England ; and ship- 
owners were required at the port of lading, to give bonds with se- 
curity proportioned to tonnage. These prohibited articles were called 
enumerated, and as soon as any new article was brought into notice 
by the ingenuity or industry of the colonists, it was added to the 

list. Soon after, it was in addition ordained, that no Euro- 
1663 pean articles should be imported into the colonies, except 

in vessels laden in England, and navigated as above. 
It was avowed, that it was the policy of nations to keep the trade of 
colonies confined to the mother country, and the colonists depen- 
dent on her. 

Charles II imposed a tax of five per cent, on all goods imported 
into, or exported from any of the dominions of the crown ; the par- 
liament proceeded to tax the trade, which one colony carried on 
with another. These enactments, intended to hold the colonies 
in perpetual subjection, were the original cause of our independence. 
After Lord Cornbury returned to New York, from his visit to 
Albany, he proceeded in August to his government of New Jersey, 
and began to put in force her majesty's gracious instructions, but 
soon returned to New York, and in April, (1703) met the assem- 
bly, who by this time began to be alarmed at his lordship's 
demands for money on various pretences, but principally for guard- 
ing the frontiers, and erecting batteries to defend New York at 
the Narrows. It was seen that for whatever purpose granted, it 
was appropriated to the governour's private use, and even his own 
party, (the rich, the gentry, the people of figure,) saw that they 
were to pay high for his lordship's countenance.* 

* The vote on the vva)'.s and means to raise this sum is singular: every member 
of the council to pay a poll tax of forty shillings; an assembly man, twenty shil- 
lings ; a lawyer in practice, twenty shillings ; every man wearing a periwig, five 
shillings and six pence ; a bachelor of twenty five years and upwards, two shillings 
and three pence ; every freeman between sixteen and sixty, nine pence ; the own- 
ers of slaves, for each, one shilling. 

262 corneury's dissentions with the asseimbly. 

After voting £1,-500 for batteries, the assembly added, " that it 
should be for no other purpose whatever." On the 19th of June, 
they required the appointment of a treasurer, "as a means to ob- 
struct misapplications in future." 
1704 This desire to scrutinize his Lordships expenditures of the 

public money increased, and of course his nobility, honour, 
and chivalry were offended. The assembly talked of their rights, 
and his lordship told them, " I know of no right that you have as 
an assembly, but such as the queen is pleased to allow you." The 
house, though elected by his lordship's party, were provoked to 
say, that they considered their rights to be, civil liberty, declared and 
confirmed by English laws, and to that every free Englishman is 
entitled. They resolve to address the governour for an exact ac- 
count of the revenue. They refused to admit the council's amend- 
ment to a money bill, and his lordship dissolved them. Their 
masters, however, the English board of trade, could "conceive no 
reason, why the council should not have a right to amend all bills 
sent up by the assembly, even those reJatwg to money.'''' 

According to Madam Knight, New York was, at this time, " a 
pleasant well compacted place. " The buildings, brick generally ; 
in some houses of divers colours, and laid in cheques, being glazed, 
they look very agreeable." Of the inside she testifies, that they were 
"neat to admiration." The fire places had no jambs, as in Boston, 
but the backs run flush with the walls, " and the hearth is of tiles, and 
is far out into the room at the ends, as before the fire," (i. e.) five feet in 
the lower rooms. She speaks of a staircase, " laid all with tiles," 
and a kitchen with brick floor. The people were making great pre- 
parations to receive their governour. Lord Cornbury, from New 
Jersey, and the militia turned out, for the occasion. The episco- 
palians had " a New England gentleman, for their minister." 

The Dutch women wore "mutches; which are like a cap and 
a head band in one, leaving the ears bare ;" ear-rings and finger- 
rings they wore in abundance. 

Madam Knight was a Boston lady, of education and refinement. 
She made the journey to New York on horse back, sometimes 
accompanied by " the post," and at others by a friend, crossing 
some rivers in a scow, and others by fording. The roads, taverns, 
and other accessories to travelling, were much improved since the 
Dutch embassy to Hartford, but still in a state that would now appal 
the courage of any but a backwoodsman or an Indian Scout. She 
found at Merrimack, some good buildings : a neat little place, 
with a navigable river before. Colonel Heathcote's seat she 
admired, and was told he "was a very fine gentleman." New Ro- 
chelle was then a clean pretty place, with passable roads, and a 
bridge broad enough for a cart. 


1705 The new assembly convened in 1705 were no less deino- 
cratick than the preceding. The former grant for the sup- 
port of government had expired, and a continuance was neglected, 
although a French privateer had entered the harbour of New York 
and frightened the town ; it was remembered that the money voted 
for batteries at the Narrows had never been applied to that use. 
.£3,000 were voted for fortifications ; but instead of giving it to his 
lordship, the assembly deposited it with a person of their own choos- 
ing. They talked of their treasurer; and the council, still com- 
posed of persons always the governour's dependents, or friends, 
joined him in his endeavours to wrest from the assembly the power 

of the purse, but in vain. 

1706 As if to increase the unpopularity he had drawn upon 
himself, by his indecent conduct, Cornbury undertook to 

1707 exert power in religious affairs, as his instructions made him 
the judge how far it was convenient so to do. He forbade 

1708 the Dutch congregation to listen to a presbyterian minister, 
or open their church for his reception. He imprisoned two 

presbyterian ministers for preaching without his license. They were 
liberated after six week's incarceration, on giving bail, by Chief. J ustice 
Montpesson.* The governour, appearing in the streets disguised 
as a woman — his debaucheries and contemptible extravagancies might 
have been borne — but when he interfered with the rights and conscien- 
ces of men, New York and New Jersey joined in addresses 
to his mistress for his removal. The unanimous and reiterated 
complaints presented to the queen, obliged her to revoke his 
commission ; and when no longer hedged about by that halo 
which marks the sanctity of sovereigns in their own right,, and 
all in authority under them, his creditors of New York threw him 
into prison, where he remained until the death of his father released 
him by hereditary rights and immunities, and raised him from one 
of the jails of the City Hall, in Wall street, to a seat in the British 
house of peers — making him, from a contemptible debtor in a 
New York jail, a law-maker and judge for a great empire. 

During the year 1707, the French government of Canada, not 
finding the opportunity the court directed them to await — of stri- 
king a destructive blow at the Iroquois, with safety to themselves, 
and litUe cost to the king, kept them in good humour, by presents 
and flattery. But, says Charlevoix, while we succeeded so well 
with the Five Nations, who were idolaters, the Governour of Orange, 
i. e. Peter Schuyler, Mayor of Albany, was almost as successful 
with the Iroquois christians. Their piety, he says, had become 
relaxed, in consequence of their drunkenness. But while Jon- 

* See Smith's Hist. vol. 1, p. ldt<, and trial of McKenzie, printed in 1755. 


caire, the governour's agent, and the Jesuit missionaries kept the 
confederates quiet, the Indians in the neighbourhood of Detroit were 
troublesome to the French garrison. However, in 1708, Vaudreuil 
found more pious employment for his christian Indians than getting 
drunk, by sending them to scalp and murder the planters of New 
England. The Governour of Canada made up a war party to 
attack the English settlers: the christain savages, (a strange 
combination of words,) were joined in it with 400 French soldiers ; 
but on the march, the Indians deserted and returned home. This, 
the historian attributes to the intrigues of Peter Schuyler — high 
praise to that great man, who, while he interposed the Iroquois be- 
tween the French and New York, defeated their plans of havoc on 
the frontiers of New England. 

Vaudreuil wrote to Schuyler, reproaching him with debauching 
the Indians who were domiciliated in Canada, at the same time that 
Ae, from >his respect to the Dutch, and particularly to Schuyler, had 
left New York in peace. Schuyler replied, that in endeavouring to 
prevent the Indians from attacking New England, he had acted as 
a christian. " I must believe," said the Mayor of Albany, " that 
it is my duty to (jod and my neighbour, to prevent, if possible, the 
cruelties of barbarians which have too often been exercised on the 
unhappy people. You will pardon me, sir, for saying that I feel 
my heart swell v/ith indignation, when I think that a war between 
christian princes, obligated to obey the laws of honour and genero- 
sity," (and he might have added humanity,) " should be carried on 
with savage barbarism." 

Charlevoix says, that Peter Schuyler was a very honest man ; 
but he knew very well, by what had passed for the last fifty years 
in this part of America, that it was the English who had reduced 
the French to the necessity of permitting their savages to act. He 
says, the French Indians never exercised cruelty, but as re])ri sals ; 
and for the purpose of making such kind of warfare cease. 

In the spring of 1708, John, Lord Lovelace, Baron of Hurley, 
was appointed to the government of New York, but did not arrive 
until the following December. We find every change was hailed 
with acclamation, but the chances were all in favour of the colonists, 
in getting rid of a man they despised and detested, that his succes- 
sor, must be better. Lovelace dissolved the assembly, and con- 
vened another. To them he reconnuended an increase of the re- 
venue, pressed the examination of public accounts, " that it might 
oe known to all the world, that the public debt was not contracted 
in his time." 

All this passed, while his predecessor was confined by his credi- 
tors, not being yet liberated, and elevated by the magick of heredi- 
tary dignity. Any reflection upon Cornbury was gratifyng to the 
assembly, but the demands of Lovelace, damped the joy they ex- 


pressed at his appointment and arrival. They complained thai 
previous bad government had deterred settlers from the province, 
and even driven away inhabitants to their neighbours of Connecti- 
cut, who enjoy more liberty and prosperity. They at length, on 
the 5th day of May, agreed to raise ,£2,500 for the charges of go- 
vernment one year to come ; of which =£1,600 was for the gover- 
nour, and 900 for the tires and lights of the forts at New York, 
Albany and Schenectady, together with printing, and other small 
charges. This mode of annually assigning the sum to be raised, 
would certainly have caused dissention between governour and 
assembly ; and might have tested Lovelace's character, but he died 
before the knowledge of the vote reached him. 

The government devolved upon Jfichard Ingoldsby, who was 
at the time lieutenant-governour : and again the province, happily 
but for a short time, was in some measure placed in the power of 
a man who had proved himself unworthy of trust, and incapable 
of conducting a government. Ingoldsby ruled for eleven months, 
during which, another feeble attempt w'as made by the English mi- 
nistry, for the conquest of Canada. The project of this enterprize 
was conceived by Colonel Vetch, who had made himself acquainted 
with the St. Lawrence, by actual examination and sounding : Fran- 
cis Nicholson, was appointed to command the provincials, and 
arrived in New York at the request of Jngoldsby, certainly inaus- 
picious names, and the event agreed with them. 


Preparations for subduing Canada — Alacrity of New York — The 
Iroquois join — Troops halt ot Wood Creek — English armament 
goes to Portugal — The provincials are led back — Discojitent — 
Expeditio7i from Canada — Schuylcr^s plan for engaging Eng- 
land in the conquest of Canada — He goes to England with Jive 
Indian chiefs — Produces another English attempt, which fails as 
before — Governour Hunter — His Council — Arrival of Germans 
— Lewis Morris — Jacobus Van Cortlandt — Hunterh dema7ids 
upon the Assembhj — Details of the failure of the attack upon Ca- 
nada — Treaty of Utrecht — Pirates. 

Father Charlevoix in his History of New France, tells us, that 
immense preparations were made at this period by Great Britain, 
for the subjugation of Canada ; that a powerful armament was fitted 
out at Boston for this purpose ; and at New York, an army of 2,000 

VOL I. 34 


men was assembled to seize Chamble,'and fall on Montreal. The 
missionary spy at Onondaga had before given notice that the Iroquois 
were urged to declare war against France ; but now he tells Vau- 
dreuil, that all the Five Nations, except the Senecas, declare openly 
in their villages, that they would join with the English in an attack 
upon Canada. The French missionary at Onondaga, was warned 
to depart, and for fear of his life, threw himself into the hands of 
the New Yorkers, was conveyed to Albany, well treated, and car- 
ried to New York. 

M. Vaudreuil after putting Quebec in a state of defence ascended 
for the same purpose to Montreal, and the French fully expected 
that England with a great fleet and army, would second the efforts 
of the colonists to overwhelm Canada. 

When the provinces were required to co-operate in an attack on 
Canada, none showed greater alacrity than New York, which pro- 
vince having been relieved by the removal of Cornbury, and being 
pleased with the address of Lovelace, (who died before the colo- 
nists had time to experience the effect of the queen's gracious in- 
structions, to insist upon a permanent salary,) were ardent in their 
loyalty, and in a desire to add the French possessions to the British 
empire. The lieutenant-governour and council, aided by the 
powerful influence of Colonel Peter Schuyler, induced the Iroquois 
to take up the hatchet against their old enemies, and to accompany 
the expedition. The prospect of the reduction of Canada, spread 
universal joy over the province. The assembly issued bills of 
credit, the first time New York had recourse to paper money. Car- 
penters were impressed into the service to build batteries. Com- 
missioners were appointed with powers to take provisions by force, 
and to impress men, vessels, horses and wagons, for transporting 
stores. Nicholson was chosen to lead the army of New 

1709 York, and New Jersey, through the same wilderness, in 
which Winthrop had led the combined forces of New 

1710 York and Connecticut, in 1G91.* The forces arrived at 
the fatal halting place, Wood Creek ; but before moving 

down that stream to Lake Champlain, it was thought necessary 
(even after the New England men, under Colonel Vetch, had 

* A council was held at Perth Amboy, the 30th of May, 1709, at whicli the Co- 
lonels Nicholson and Vetch, were present, with Ingoldsby, G. Saltonstall, Gover- 
nonr of Connecticut, and C. Gookin, Governour of Pennsylvania. The Indians of 
New Jersey and the neighbourhood, were induced to join with the Iroquois, and all 
were put under the command of Colonel Peter Schuyler. Nicholson was appointed 
by the governour to roniinand the expedition. 

William Whitehead, Esq., has found in his researches, and furnished nic with 
letters from John llamson, to Captain Elisha Parker respecting the country, and 
the difliculties of transporting the troo])s for the iiuasion of Canada, by which it 
appears that the land between Albany and Lake Champlain, now so full of beau 
lies and cultivation, w ;? then thought tiie most inhospitable of the known world. 


arrived,) to await news from the English fleet. At this commence- 
ment of the waters that flow to the iSt. Lawrence, and the Atlan- 
tick, where formerly \\ inthrop was stopped for want of canoes, the 
New York troops accumidated batteaux and vessels of every kind, 
to transport themselves to Canada, when the British fleet and army 
should appear before Quebec. But the first intelligence they heard 
of this looked for armament, was, that instead of coming to the aid 
of the provincials, it had been sent to Portugal. The summer was 
passed in the woods and swamps, that then and long after made the 
country about Wood Creek dreary and unwholesome, and in Oc- 
tober, the colonies were informed by the English Ministry, that the 
armament prepared for the rehef of the provinces in America, was 
more needed by her majesty's Portuguese allies. 

At Wood Creek, the troops (such as were not in hospitals) 
were employed in building blockhouses and erecting forts, upon 
the news that England had abandoned them. Those who survived 
exposure, miasmata, and all the diseases peculiarly attached to raw 
troops, in unhealthy situations, were led back, to exasperate still 
more the colonists, who had ruined themselves to raise and support 
an army by order of the English Court under promise of co-opera- 
tion. The Iroquois who had been induced at a great expense of 
money, presents and promises to attend the provincials, lost confi- 
dence in the English power. The women and children of the 
Indian warriours had been supported by the New Yorkers, during 
the idle absence of their husbands and fathers, who now returned 
to their homes to sustain the hostilities of the Erench, whom they 
had provoked, by joining the EngUsh in this disastrous expedition. 
There was, on the other hand among the whites, a suspicion that 
the Indians had accelerated, if not rejoiced at, the wasting disease 
of their allies, and had imbibed a notion, not far from the truth, that 
the two contending nations of Europeans, though willuig to make 
use of the natives for defence or offence, were only waiting the 
proper moment to sacrifice them to their own interest. 

The Erench historian of these events tells us, that while the pro- 
vincials of New York and New England were building strong places 
in the neighbourhood of Wood Creek and between the Hudson and 
(Lac Sfurement,) Lake George, M. Ramezay was sent from Mon- 
treal to oppose the invaders on the land side, while M. Vaudreuil 
descended to Quebec to oppose the expected attack by sea. On 
the 2Sth of July, M. Ramezay advanced, having a captain with 50 
Frenchmen and 200 Indians in front, sustained by 100 Canadians 
and 100 regular troops of the king's army. The Governour of 
Montreal followed Ramezay, at the head of 500 Canadians, .the 
christian Iroquois forming his rear guard, under M. Joncaire. The 
Ottowas and Nipisings were the flanking parties of this army. Ha- 
ving raised our expectations of an exciting combat, Charlevoix 


says, the French army met — a rumour — that 5,000 men were 
advancing to meet them. A council of war was called, and a deter- 
mination taken to retreat. After various marches and counter- 
marches, without seeing an enemy, M. Vaudreuil, (who, learning 
that no enemy was approaching Quebec, had ascended and joined 
his northern army,) sent two detachments to look for his enemy. 
These approached near enough to find that the English had burnt 
their forts and gone home. 

A French priest — a spy or agent among the Iroquois — informed 
the Governour of Canada that these Indians only pretended to aid 
the English ; that the Mohawks wished to remain neutral ; that by 
his emissaries he had learned the real sentiments of the Iroquois ; 
that a chief of the Onondagas had said, " We are placed between 
two nations, either of which is powerful enough to extirminate us, 
if the other did not prevent ; but while these nations quarrel, 
we, the weaker party, are safe, and are not to assist either, but manage 
both." Charlevoix further says, that the Iroquois poisoned a 
stream, on the banks of which the English encamped, by throwing 
the skins of the animals they killed into the water : these putrefying, 
as was intended, communicated disease to the element which the 
soldiers of their allies drank ; that in consequence, great numbers 
died, and the remainder retreated. The same author says, that the 
next winter the Iroquois sent deputies to Vaudreuil, begging for a 
reconciliation, and pretending that they had no intention of injuring 
the French. They tried to excuse the Dutch of New York, and 
Colonel Schuyler, by saying that they were obliged to obey the 
English. M. Vaudreuil, says Charlevoix, was not in condition to 
chastise the Iroquois, therefore he pretended to receive these apo- 
logies in good part. 

Though it might be the policy of the Indians to keep up what 
used to be called the natural enmity of the French and English — 
not give too much assistance to either, and rejoice at the miseries 
they inflicted on each other — yet, in my opinion, if the English 
had succeeded, and had entered Canada at this time, the Iroquois 
would have indulged their much praised heroic propensity, without 
any reference to the balance of power, or the impolicy of render- 
ing the French too feeble to oppose the English, and that they 
would have scalped or tomahawked as many French women and 
children as was consistent with their own safety. 

Grievous was the disappointment of the provincials at this fail- 
ure, on the part of Great Britain ; for the wise and far-sighted 
among the colonists saw that the present safety and future existence 
of the colonies, as protestant communities of men, knowing and 
estimating their rights, depended upon conquering Canada, and re- 
moving that power which was seizing every opportunity to extend a 
chain of forts and garrisons from the St. Lawrence to the Missis- 

.schuvler's visit to EXGLAXD. 2()9 

sippi. They knew that the power of England must be exerted for 
this purpose. 

Peter Schuyler was one of these far-seeing colonists ; and he 
knew that the movements of great nations are often caused by the 
veriest trifles in existence. He had seen in his own day thousands 
of Huguenots driven from France by the religious whim of a wo- 
man ; and the fleets of the great naval nation of Great Britain, the 
power of a j^rotestant people, exerted for the destruction of 
the Dutch, (another naval and protestant people,) at the com- 
mand of the French monarch, a papist, and the enemy of both 
nations; but the source from whence Charles II received treasure 
for the support of his mistresses. Seeing and knowing all this, the 
Mayor of Albany conceived the project of moving the court of 
Queen Anne to the annihilation of the French powder in America, 
by means of exhibiting five Indian chiefs in their barbarick costume 
to the people, the nobles, and the majesty of Britain. 

At his own expense did this patriot persuade (for it cost some- 
thing to persuade an Indian, even of Peter Schuyler's time,) five 
chiefs of the Iroquois to accompany him to England, that by their 
exhibition and his eloquence, he might persuade the queen, her 
husband, and the other men in power, to assist the colonies in 
throwing oft the palpable incubus which was weighing upon them 
to extinction. 

Colonel Schuyler, knowing how important the Five Nations 
were to tlie welfare of New York, had used every means to gain 
their confidence. They saw in him a brave and wuse soldier, as 
well as magistrate ; and he did not spare either himself or his ample 
fortune to gain that influence \vhich he possessed over them. He 
frequently went among them ; and w'hen they came to Albany, his 
house was open and his table spread for them. The measure pro- 
posed, of sending their chiefs with Schuyler to England, was pleas- 
ing to the Iroquois, and the individuals considered themselves as 
the deputies of an independent people in alliance with the monarch 
of Great Britain. All this proves the fallacy of the story, that the 
Indians purposely poisoned the w^aters to destroy the New York 

As Schuyler predicted, the English w^ere delighted by the exhi- 
bition of five Indian chiefs. The people ran in crowds to admire 
five Indians — and kings too — for so they were called, and 
such their finery denoted them.* The guards were reviewed in 
Hyde Park, for their amusement, the theatres were put in requisi- 

* Their blankets and breech-clouts, bracelets and nose jewels, were justly ad 
mired; but the court went into mourning for some Europeanprince, and American 
kings were dressed in black breeches and vests, with a mantle of scarlet cloth 
trimmed with gold lace as a substitute for their former royal blanket. They were 


lion for their edification ; tliey were received at court, and made 
speeches to the queen, which nobody understood, and which were 
dictated by Schuyler, and translated as he directed. The assem- 
bly of New York had written an address, praying assistance, and 
entrusted it to the Mayor of Albany. His scheme succeeded, and 
England engaged to send a sufficient armament for the conquest of 

Madame Maintenon, or the widow Scarron, banished and 
persecuted to death thousands, by the revocation of the edict of 
Nantes : Charles II, to gratify his patron, Lewis XIV, caused a 
bloody war between England and Holland ; and Peter Schuyler, by 
exhibiting five Indians, brought a fleet and army from England to 
the river St. Lawrence. The colonists again expected the power 
of Britain to be exerted for their protection. Again they prepared 
to do their part, and again their hopes were disappointed. The 
New England forces, when despairing of succour from England, 
invaded Acadie, (Nova Scotia,) took Port Royal, and in compli- 
ment to the queen, called it Annapolis. 

Ingoldsby, who had shared the favour and infamy of Sloughter, 
Fletcher, and Cornbury, might have now governed the province, 
only the representations of New Jersey and New York caused his 
dismissal from office before this period. Robert Hunter was ap- 
pointed governour ; and until his arrival, Gerard Beekman as 
the president of the council, officiated. 

Hunter was born in Scotland ; and when a boy, had been put 
apprentice to an apothecary. "He left his master," says William 
Smith ; diat is, ran away, and entered the army. 

Education, superiour to common soldiers, ambition, and a 
handsome person, we may suppose, gave Plunter his first pre- 
ferment: personal beauty and a military garb, gained the affec- 
tion of Lady Hay; she married him, and in 1707 we find him 
appointed Lieutenant-governour of Virginia. On his voyage, 
he was captured by a French privateer, and carried back to Europe. 
When exchanged, and again at St. James's, he was appointed to 
succeed Lovelace as Governour of New York and New Jersey. 
Such is the honourable story of Brigadier Hunter, proving that he 
had merit as well as good fortune to enable him to ascend the lad- 
der of military and court promotion rapidly and steadily. A fur- 
ther proof of his talents, was his intimacy with Swift, Addison, and 
the other wits of the day. 

The council, on the arrival of Governour Hunter, was composed 

tricked off by ' the dressers" of the tlioatrc, and conducted to St. James' in two 
coaches, by a noble courtier, where the lord chamberkin waited to introduce them 
to the royal presence of their sister, tlueen Anne, to whom they gave some strings 
of wainp*im, for which the country paid full dearly. 


of Gerardus Beekman, Rip Van Dam, Colonel Rensselaer, Judge 
Montpesson, Mr. Barbaric, and Mr. Phillipse. Beekman was one 
of the rich possessors of city property, and perhaps otiier lands. 
His orchard, occupied what is now the space between John street 
and Beekman street, (within my memory known as Chapel street, 
after the building of St. George's Ciiapel :) beyond the present 
chapel was the swamp, to the north and east of Beekman's Orchard. 
Rip Van Dam, though a Dutchman and a merchant, had worked 
his way up to a seat in the council, and was one of the rich. The 
family of Van Rensselaer is well known. Montpesson stood high 
as a lawyer. Barbaric was a rich Huguenot of distinction. Phil- 
lipse seems only distinguished for wealth, and attachment to the 
English government. The last of the race possessed Phillipsburg, 
in Westchester county. 

Although the two great parties which had convulsed New York, 
were in a manner reunited in opposition to the vices and follies of 
Cornbury, the leader of the aristocracy, still that party governed ; 
and were strengthened by the accession of Hunter, who, though 
one of the people originally, had by his reception among the great, 
become as decidedly an opponent to the people's rights, (to manage 
their own property for their own benefit,) as any of the peers in 
England, or gentry in New York. 

With the governour came a number of Germans, driven from 
their native country, the Palatinate, which had been laid waste by 
the inhuman policy of Lewis XIV, and were now, to the amount of 
near 3,000, transported at the expense of Great Britain, to become 
valuable colonists of America. Many of these Germans stopped in 
the city of New York, where they built the Lutheran Church, almost 
adjoining Trinity, which was burnt in the great fire of 1776. The 
site is now occupied by Grace Church. Great numbers of these Ger- 
mans, (called palatines) settled on Livingston's manor: the place 
was once called the Camp, and is now known as Germantown. 
Pennsylvania had a share of these emigrants, who have been more 
distinguished for tlieir agriculture, than for their improvement in 
science or literature, with some well known exceptions. 

Hunter visited the government of New Jersey, and gained the 
assistance both there and in New York, of Lewis Morris, the chief 
justice, a man of extraordinary talents and influence. Morris was 
appointed to be one of the council in New Jersey, as well as Wil- 
liam Pinhorne, and Judge Montpesson, both of the New York council. 

The uncle of Lewis Morris, above mentioned, was an officer in 
the army of Cromwell,* and after the return of the Stuarts fled to 
America, in tlie garb of a quaker. He seated himself in New 1 ork, 

* Chief Justice Smith's History of New York. 


and purchased that tract of land wliich the family still possess, and 
which he called Morrisania : though married he left no children.* 
Lewis Morris tells us in the preamble to his will, that his " mother 
died when" he "was about six months old," and his "father not 
long after, in New York," where he " was left an orphan, entirely 
in the hands of strangers, who were appointed by the government 
to take care of him." He thus lost his parents, (who were proba- 
bly English, avoiding the restoration of kingly government in that 
country,) when Francis Lovelace was governour of New York, and 
between the years 1667 and 1673, when the province was again 
surrendered to the Dutch, and the boy " put by their magistrates into 
the hands of the trustees, by them appointed to take care of him, and 
of what effects their soldiers had left unplundered ; and after the 
surrender of New York to the English," by the peace of 1674, his 
" uncle came into these parts of America, and kindly took care of 
him, until he came to mans' estate." 

Mr. Sparks, in his biography of Governour Morris, tells us that 
the father of the boy, thus left an orphan, by the death of his parents 
in New York, between 1667 and 1673, was called Richard, and 
had been an officer in Cromwell's army, had arrived in New York 
from the West Lidies, and purchased ten miles square near Har- 
lem, invested by the governours grant, "with manorial privileges, 
and called Morrisania." He further states, that the said Richard, 
the first proprietor of Morrisania died in 1673. He says, that not 
long afterwards, Lev\'is, the brother of Richard, came to America and 
settled at Morrisania ; and that there was a contract dated the 10th 
of August, 1670, where Richard is styled a merchant in New York, 
and Lewis a merchant in Barbadoes. It follows that Richard 
was in Barbadoes in 1670, and contracted to come to New York, 
purchase this grant of INIorrisania for his himself and brother Lewis, 
who was to follow, and settle on it ; but that he did not come, until 
the peace of 1674, when he found the son of his brother an orphan, 
took him under his protection, and built at Morrisania. 

Chief Justice William Smith, makes the imcle the person who 
had been in Cromwell's army, who, after the restoration, disguised 
himself under the profession of quakerism, and settled on a fine 
farm, within a few miles of the city, called after his own name Mor- 
risania. Mr. Sparks, no doubt, as he had access to every infor- 
mation possessed by the family, must be relied upon. 

Chief Justice William Smith, fills up the interval, " until he 
came to mans' estate," by informing us, that young Lewis was a 
headstrong boy, and " frequently gave offence to his uncle" of 
Morrisania, and on one occasion left him and strolled into Virginia, 

Samuel Smith's History of New Jersey. 


from whence he found his way to Jamaica, in the West Indies, 
where he supported himself as a scrivener. As a proof of his boyish 
propensities, we are told that when a pupil to Luke Coppathwait, 
a quaker, Lewis hid himself in a tree by which his teacher was to 
pass, and in a feigned voice with great solemnity called upon Luke, 
(from above of course,) and ordered him to go and preach the Gos- 
pel among the Mohawks. Luke considered the bidding miracu- 
lous, and prepared to obey, when either by compunction of the boy 
or other means, he was undeceived. After several years passed 
in the West Indies, the wanderer returned to Morrisania, and was 
received by his uncle with forgiveness and joy. To settle him for 
life, the uncle brought about a marriage between Lewis and 
Miss Graham. 

The biographical "will" tells us, that the uncle "dying, what 
he had, fell" into the hands of the person who has occasioned this 
notice, " being his sole and only heir," and that there had been 
" articles of agreement and partnership entered into between his 
uncle and his father, that if either of them died without issue, the 
survivor, or issue of the survivor, if any, should take the estate." 

Before Governour Hunter's arrival, Lewis Morris had been one 
of the council of New Jersey, (where he possessed estates as well 
as in New York,) and was a judge of the supreme court in that 
province in 1692. Upon the siu'render of New Jersey to Queen 
Anne, by the proprietors, Morris had been named by them for 
governour, but the Queen chose to appoint her cousin, the infa- 
mous Cornbury, in his stead. When Cornbury was removed, 
Morris drew up the complaints of New Jersey, and carried the 
address to England. 

To this gentleman, Governour Hunter was indebted for support^ 
both in New Jersey and New York. In the latter province he 
secured the attachment likewise of Nicoll, the speaker of the 
house of assembly, Livingston, and De Lancey, who though a 
foreigner from Caen in Normandy, had by his personal merits, 
and the influence of Van Cortlandt's family, into Avhich he had 
married, already attained great weight in the province. 

Jacobus Van Cortlandt was at this time mayor of New York, 
and one of the most successful and opulent merchants of the city. 
I presume him to have been the son and successor of Stephanus 
Van Cortlandt, so conspicuous in the aiistocratick or anti-Leislerian 
party, in 16S9 and afterwards. The reader will see, that the leading 
or most conspicuous families for political agitadon of New York, at 
this time were all in union with the English government, and 
occasionally in opposition to the people. The Bayards, Phil- 
lipses. Van Cortlandts, and De Lanceys, were sixty years after 
ranged on the king's part ; while the Morrises of Morrisania, the 

VOL. I. 35 

274 hunter's administration. 

Livingstons, the Schuylers, were leaders on the part of the peo- 
ple. The champions of the people in 1710 are little noticed by 
the courtly historian. 

The De Lanceys of the present day, and of the king's army 
during our revolutionary struggle, derive their American origin 
from this Pierre De Lancey, who married a Van Cortlandt, in the 
eighteenth century : but the reader will find Stephen De Lancey 
in New York, and an alderman, in the year 1691. Pierre, one 
of those Huguenots who escaped from the tyranny and bigotry of 
Louis XIV, was aided in his flight by a protestant mother, who 
not only gave him the passports of education for his safety, but 
jewels, which enabled him in Holland to procure what was neces- 
sary to appear in New York as a wealthy merchant ; and we see 
him now a representative in the assembly of the province. 

1710 Peter Schuyler had returned in safety with his L'oquois 
chieftains, and the colonies were again called upon to assist 

in the conquest of Canada. Governour Hunter met the deputies 
of the Five Nations at iVlbany, and took measures to secure them 
and their constituents, in the interest of the province he governed ; 
but declined, though urged so to do, using his influence for the 
purpose of engaging the Iroquois in warfare with the French 
Indians, who at this time carried their destructive warfare into the 
New England settlements. It was the policy of the Governour of 
New York, to preserve quiet on his own frontiers, by means of the 
neutrality subsisting between the Five Nations and the French. 

Returning to New York city, he found the assembly averse to 
placing the public funds at the disposal of the governour, they 
wishing to guard against the misapplications before experienced. 
Hunter had secured the council, who endeavoured to amend the 
money bills, and the two houses were at issue. Hunter prorogued 
the assembly on the 25th of November, not choosing to oppose 
them until he had definite instructions from the ministry and the 
board of trade, which he took the proper measures to procure 
according to his wish. During the winter, the governour was 
armed by the board for directing the affairs of the plantations, and 
by her gracious majesty, with such instructions as enabled him to 
take part openly with the council, and when he met the 

1711 assembly in the spring, he told them it was her Majesty's 
tenderness to them, which made her urge a permanent 

revenue for the government ; for when they were left to themselves, 
they made too great gifts of money to their governours, by acts of 
assembly : whereas, her majesty, by fixing the salaries of officers, 
of which she was abetter judge than they could be, and prohibit- 
ing the making any presents to their governours, took more and 
better care of their property, than they knew how to do. Ha 
lioped they had come to provide a support for her majesty's go- 

hunter's ApMlNISTRATiaii. 275 

vernment, in the manner she has been pleased to direct. He, ll)ere- 
fore, asked tlieni, whetlier or not they would support her majesty's 
gov^ernment in the way she had been pleased to direct — pay the 
debts due to officers and others — and provide for the defence of the 
frontiers ? 

The assembly could not be persuaded that her majesty, the board 
of trade, the ministry, the governour, on any others, were better qua- 
lified to judge of the necessity or propriety of giving money for the 
support of the province, than they were : they passed a money bill, 
which the governour's council again attempted to amend. The right 
to amend a money bill was denied by the assembly, and the bill de- 
feated. The governour told the assembly, in May, that he would 
pass no bill, until provision was made for the government. 

In the mean time, Nicholson, with the forces furnished by the 
eastern provinces, had seized upon Acadie, and aspired to the con- 
quest of Canada. Great Britain persuaded by the eloquence of 
Peter Schuyler, backed by the exhibition of five kings of the Five 
Nations, made preparations for the relief of her provinces, from the 
annoyance of their French neighbours, and called upon them again 
to assist in this salutary measure. To this call New York cheer- 
fully responded, and the assembly created a. debt of .£10,000, by 
issuing treasury bills, to be redeemed by taxation, in five years. 

By orders from home, (as England was then always called,) a 
congress was held of all the colonial governours from New Jersey 
to Massachusetts, both included. Two regiments were raised by 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, to join the 
British armament, when it should arrive at Boston. 

Nicholson was appointed to command the provincials, and mus- 
tered at Albany 4,000 men, under Colonels Schuyler, Ingoldsby, 
and Whiting; these were raised in New Jersey, New York, and 
Connecdcut ; New York seconded by every means this attack upon 
Canada, and spared no exertions for building batteaux, collecting 
provisions, and forwarding the enterprize. The influence of Schuy- 
ler procured 600 Iroquois, in adddition to the other forces of New 

While these preparations were eagerly forwarded by the pro- 
vinces, twelve men of war, forty transports, and six store ships, 
with frigates and bomb vessels, bearing the regiments of Kirk, Hill, 
Windress, Clayton, and Kane, summoned from Flanders, toge- 
ther with Seymour's and Derney's regiments, and a battalion of 
marines, from England, the whole commanded by General Hill, a 
relation of Mrs. Masham, who had superseded the Duchess of 
Marborough as the queen's favourite, sailed amply provided with 
artillery and stores, and arrived at Boston early in the summer. 

Nicholson and his army marched by the former route from Albany, 


being intended against Montreal, by the way of Wood Creek and 
Lake Champlain. But the general remained at the fort, awaiting 
news from the fleet. Admiral Sir Housdon Walker and General 
Hill, with a fleet of upwards of seventy, carrying 6,463 troops, 
sailed from Boston for Quebec, on the 30th of July. On the 18th 
of August, the fleet anchored in Gaspee Bay, to take in wood and 
water. In ascending the St. Lawrence, the armament was entangled 
amid rocks and islands on the northern shore. 

To oppose this overwhelming force advancing by land and water 
upon the two extremities of his province, Vaudreuil, ordered the 
Sieur de Beaucourt, to hasten the fortifications of Quebec, and 
hold the troops, regulars and militia, in readiness to march when 
the enemy appeared. Indians were collected at Montreal, and 
emissaries sent to detach the Iroquois from the Enghsh standard. 

The Jesuits, Longueil, and Jonceau, were sent, the one to 
Onondaga, the other to the Senecas, and prevailed on many to hold 
back from Schuyler, and to preserve iheir neutrality with France, 
although Abraham Schuyler, as Charlevoix tells us, had been 
through the Five Nations, endeavouring to make them take up 
arms. No effort appears to have been omitted by Vaudreuil, to 
prevent the Iroquois from joining with the provincials in the in- 
tended attack upon Montreal. The force of Canada appears to 
have been inadeqate to resist the armies that were directed against it. 

Walker and Hill, seem to have been equally unfit for the trusts 
they had over a fleet and army sent to conquer a country they 
were unacquainted with. Contrary to the advice of the American 
pilots the fleet weighed anchor, on the 23d of August, in a fog, 
and eight transports, with 884 men, were wrecked and lost. 

A council of sea ofiicers decided that it was impracticable to 
proceed, until the fleet had returned to a safe harbour, to refit, and 
on the 14th of September, they anchored in Spanish River Bay. 
Here a council of war was held, and after the loss they had sustained 
of near 900 officers, soldiers, and seamen, and considering that 
they had but ten weeks provision, and none nearer than New Eng- 
land, they unanimously concluded to make no further attempt, sent a 
recall to Nicholson, who had advanced as far as Fort George, and 
sailed with all dispatch for Great Britain. To add to the misfortunes 
of this fleet, on their arrival at Portsmouth, in England, a seventy 
gun ship was blown up, and all on board perished. 

The French historian says, that the boats sent out by the Cana- 
dians, after the news of the wreck of part, and departure of the 
remainder of the English fleet, found the hulks of eight great ships, 
and near 3,000 drowned men on the shores. Among them were 
recognized two entire companies of the queen's guards, known and 
distinguished by their red helmets ; and several Scotch families, 
intended to people Canada. They likewise found the queen's 


manifesto, wliicli General Hill had caused to be printed at Boston, 
by B. Green, dated 1711. 

The New England troops arrived at Boston : Nicholson led back 
his army to Albany — the Iroquois, as Charlevoix says, having 
deserted him even before they knew of the failure of the fleet. 

The ministry were censured by the opposition for the conduct 
of this attempt upon Canada, and foreigners wondered that the 
French should be allowed to remain in that country, to the con- 
tinual annoyance, and prevention of the growth of the English colo- 
nies. The Swedish traveller, Kalm, thought that England " was 
not earnestly disposed to drive that power from the continent, pre- 
ferring to retain it as a check upon the colonists, who, they feared, 
would otherwise become powerful and independent." Easy as I 
am of belief in the depravity of statesmen, and knowing the very 
early jealousy of England, I do not agree with the Swedish 

The forces of Canada were all disposed of for the reception of 
Nicholson, and the news of his retreat caused an exultation in that 
country, which seemed to be protected by both the favour of heaven 
and the folly of man. The Iroquois sent to renew dieir neutrality 
with Vaudreuil, and his power was encreased in proportion to the 
failures of his enemies. 

1712 New York was sunk in proportion to her former exulta- 
tion and anticipation of success. The assembly were pre- 
vailed upon by their fears and the governour, to keep up their for- 
ces during the winter, and repair the fortifications. They saw that 
the Iroquois were wavering in their attachment, and more boldly 
declared their independence. An attack, by sea, upon New York, 
was feared, and a panic seized them when they contemplated the 
number of negroes held in slavery among them. A " negro plot" 

was discovered, or imagined, and 19 of these degraded 

1713 wretches were execrated. The treaty of Utrecht relieved 
the colony from many of her feai's ; but the exhaustion and 

debt consequent upon the last Canada expedition, weighed heavy 
upon her for years to come. 

The treaty of Utrecht, concluded on the 31st of March, 1713, 
not only relieved New York from fears of European enemies, but 
was of advantage to the province in recognizing the Five Nations 
and their country as subject to Great Britain : for, although the 
Iroquois considered themselves free, and their country belonging 
to themselves alone, it was considered that something was gained, 
to have the acknowledgment of France that these independent peo- 
ple were subjects to the King of England : and it appears to follow 
that all nations conquered by them likewise became British sub- 

By the same treaty, the assiento contract, by which the most car 


tJiolic King of Spain had granted to the jnost christian King of 
France, the exclusive privilege of supplying his colonies with negro 
slaves, was transferred, by the desire of the dffender of the faith, the 
Queen of Great Britain, to her nformed and protestant subjects. 
The queen engaged that her subjects should, during the above 
mentioned period, transport to the Spanish colonies 144,000 negro 
slaves, at the rate of 4,800 per year. I have already noticed the 
royal instructions to Lord Cornbury, on his being sent to govern 
New Jersey and New York. The title of the treaty between 
France and Spain, the benefits of which were thus transferred to 
Great Britain, was thus : " Traite fait entre les deux rois tres 
christiens eX catholigues, avec la compagnie royale de Guinee etab- 
lie en France, concernant I'introduction des negres dans I'Ame- 

As early as 1716, Lieutenant-governour Spotteswode, (or Spot- 
wood,) of Virginia, proposed the purchasing of lands on the Ohio, 
and establishing trading-houses and forts to trade with the Indians, 
and counteract the designs of the French, which, he saw, were to 
enclose the colonies by a chain of forts from the St. Lawrence to 
the Mississippi. The ministers of George I, opposed this wise 
plan of Spotteswode's, they having secret reasons for keeping well 
with the Court of France, and this necessary project for protecting 
the colonies was not only defeated, but the French were encou- 
raged to build the fort of Crown Point upon the territory of New 

Piracy, which was repressed by the punishment of Kidd and the 
exposure of Fletcher, was again encouraged by Charles Eden, the 
Governour of North Carolina, and his secretary, Tobias Knight. 
To the commercial restrictions imposed by Great Britain upon the 
colonies, and the frequent wars between France and England, the 
evil of piracy at this time, may in part be ascribed, as it existed on 
the coasts of America. The colonists were induced to become 
smugglers, because the laws which imposed a tax upon their indus- 
try and enterprize were imposed by a foreign legislature for foreign 
benefit ; and from smuggling and privateering it was but a step down 
to piracy, and this step was made more easy by the encouragement 
or protection of governours and their minions who had expatriated 
themselves for the purpose of making money. The gangs of sea- 
robbers were likewise recruited by English and other sailors, trained 
to ferocious injustice, and hardened to utter disregard for suffering 
humanity, by the legalized piracy of the slave trade, encouraged by 
christian monarchs, nobles, governours, planters, traders, and men 
of all classes and denominations. After Kidd's arrest and execu- 
tion, Quelch was the hero of piracy ; but after committing depreda- 
tions and atrocities on the American seas, he ventured to go on 
shore in Massachusetts, wa3 arrested, tried, and perished on the 


gallows with six of his companions. Soon after, Captain Bellamy, 
with a ship of 23 guns and 130 men, infested the American coast, 
but was wrecked on Cape Cod, and drowned with his crew, except 
six, who were hanged at Boston. But it was at Providence, in the 
Bahamas, that these freebooters found a place of refuge and formed 
a regular settlement. The interruption to commerce , caused the 
ministry of George I to send some ships of war against this indus- 
trious West India community, and they broke up the establishment 
before it had become a duly recognized state among civilized na- 
tions, but was denominated a den of robbers. 

But in North Carolina appeared the celebrated Blackbeard, the 
terror of all peaceable traders, and as much the delight of the 
wonder-loving as the Bluebeard of another hemisphere. This 
wretch was one Tlieach, who acquired the tide or nickname for 
which he is admired, as other titled personages still are, by encour- 
aging the growth of a very black beard, which attained very un- 
common length, and was so disposed of by the wearer as to increase 
the ferocity of his appearance. He had once been the chief of the 
pirates of New Providence, but found Pamlico river, in North 
Carolina a more secure place of resort. Armed with three pair of 
pistols, and other equipments for destruction, he is described as 
having in batde the appearance and demeanour of a demon ; among 
his fellows at other times his conduct was little less than demoniacal. 
He was dreaded and admired in propordon to the extravagance 
of his drunken inhumanity. In riot, ebriety, and debauchery, the 
spoils acquired by robbery and murder were spent by all the de- 
praved community : and Blackbeard, it is said, would, at table 
with his comrades, amuse himself by blowing out the candles and 
discharging his pistols at random among his guests. Another of 
his freaks was to represent hell, himself the reigning devil, sur- 
rounded by flames and sulphur, while he was amused by the suf- 
focation from which his companions with difficulty escaped. 

At one time Theach took advantage of the king's proclamation, 
offering pardon to pirates who submitted to the law, and surren- 
dered himself and twenty of his men to his friend Governour 
Eden : but his treasure being exhausted by the usual excesses, he 
again embarked in open robbery and human butchery. 

Governour Spotteswode of Virginia, a rare instance of sagacity 
and virtue in a colonial governour, appointed by England, offered 
a reward for the apprehension of the piratical monster, and one 
Masnard an officer belonging to an English man of war stationed 
in the Chesapeake, collected a crew of picked men, and manning 
two small vessels sought Blackbeard, with determination to take 
him. He found Theach in Pamlico sound, safe, as he thought, in 
the protection of Governour Eden. The pirate was surprised to 
see two vessels bearing down upon him with evidently hostile in- 

280 riRATEs. 

tention ; nothing daunted, he manoeuvred and fought his vessel with 
skill and desperation, but Masnard closed in and boarded. Then 
the cool determination of the avengers of insulted justice and hu- 
manity soon overcame the fury of brutal courage. Theach sunk 
after having received many wounds among the dead and dying 
combatants. Those who asked for quarter were spared to under- 
go the sentence of the law. 

With Blackbeard expired the open system of piracy which had 
been encouraged by those on shore, who neither shared the dan- 
gers nor incurred the punishment. Piracy continued, but was not 
protected by the colonial government. 


Court of Cliancery — By the treaty of Utrecht., the Iroquois con- 
sidered subjects of England — Peter Schuyler — Governour Burnet 
— Doctor C. Golden — Oswego — Congress at Albany — Spottes-' 
wode — French plan of extendi?ig forts from St. Lawrence to 
Mississippi — Chevalier de Joncaire — Burnefs plan, in opposition 
to France — Frcncli at Niagara — Governour Burnet's difficulties 
and final removal to Massachusetts — Character. 

1712 At a council held at Fort Anne, in the city of New York, 
the 29th of September, 1712, present, his Excellency 
Robert Hunter, Colonel De Peyster, Mr. Van Dam, Mr. Bar- 
baric, and Mr. Byerly, Caleb Heathcote,* mayor, and Francis 
Harrison, sheriff. Likewise Robert Livingston, mayor of Albany, 
and Thomas Williams, sherift*. 

In this year the Tuscaroras and other Indians, endeavoured to 
put an end to white encroachments, by an attack with intention to 

* Sir Gilbert Heathcote, the father of Caksb, was a very rich merchant of London, 
one of the principal founders of the Bank ol" England, and once lord mayor. The 
knowledge I have of this gentleman, is from a newspaper: his son John succeeded 
to his title of Baronet, and by marrying the iietrothed of Caleb, drove him to Ame- 
rica with his riches. He married the daughter of Tangeir Smith, of Long Island. 
I have seen a copy of the will of the said Colonel Caleb Heathcote, through the 
favour of William Whitehead Esquire, by which he devised to his son, the estate 
mentioned by Madam Knight, Marmarone > me of his daiighters married Doctor 
Lewis Johnson, of Perth Amboy, and another Lieutenant Governour James Dc 
lancey, of New York. 


destroy the colonists of North Carolina, many of whom they mur- 
dered : but being defeated, the Tuscaroras fled, and were received 
as a sixth nation in their confederation by the Iroquois, to whom 
they appear to have belonged originally. 

When Hunter, to counteract the intrigues of the French Jesuits 
among the Iroquois, proposed to the sachems in council to send 
them protestant missionaries, and told them the queen wished to 
clothe their souls, as vi^ell as bodies, they resolutely declined 
the favour, adding, that it would be a greater kindness to send 
some blacksmiths to reside among them. They, accused the 
ministers from New York, who came among them, of encour- 
aging the practice of drinking brandy. They were struck 
forcibly with the difference between the missionaries who came 
among them impelled by zeal, and those who were paid for the 
service. "I love to feel where words come from," was the re- 
mark of an Indian, to a quaker. 

Governour Himter had not only been faithful to the queen and 
to himself, in studiously endeavouring to prevail on the house 
of assembly (by their fixing the salaries of the officers,) to make 
office-holders independent of the people, but he, without con- 
sulting the assembly, erected a court of chancery, exercised the 
office of chancellor himself, and appointed Messrs. Van Dam and 
Phillipse, masters, with an examiner, register, and clerks. 

The assembly saw, that by this, the power of the governour 
and council was increased, and the house of assembly propor- 
tionably diminished in weight. They protested : the affair was 
referred to the lords of trade, (ever ready to support the pretensions 
of the governour and council,) and they let the people know that 
her majesty had an undoubted right to appoint as many courts as 
she thought proper. 

The reader will see hereafter, that William Smith, the father of 
the historian, contended that the king could not erect a court of 
chancery, without consent of parliament ; so, no such court could 
be erected in New York, without consent of the assembly — the 
people not being represented in parliament. This was in 1734, 
and was the point mooted in 1775. 

Lord Bellamont had strenuously contended that the Iroquois 
were subjects of England, and by the treaty of Utrecht, as already 
observed, the Five Nations were declared to be " subject to the 
dominion of Great Britain." They were permitted to be free to 
trade with either English or French ; but the boundaries were left 
hereafter to be determined. 

We must consider the country of the Iroquois such as is deline- 
ated in the map, copied from Mr. Gallatin, and inserted in this work. 

The French, at the conclusion of the treaty of Utrecht, held Fort 
VOL. I. 36 


1716 Frontlgnac. In 1716,* James Alexander and William 
Smith arrived, in the same shijD, from England : the first, from 

Scotland, and father of the Lord Sterling, of our revolution : the 
second, an Englishman, and father of the historian of New York: 
both distinguished as lawyers in the province, and soon engaged in 
publick business. 

From the year 1717, Hunter, by the aid of Lewis Morris 

1717 and Robert Livingston, junior, contrived to have the 
to house of assembly with him ; and he informed the repre- 

1719 sentatives, on the 21st of June, 1719, that for the be- 
nefit of his health and his private affairs, he was about, 

by permission of the king, (George I,) to return home, to reassume 
his American governments as might be hereafter determined. INIor- 
risand Livingston drew up the address of the assembly, and covered 
the departing governour with every honour which might or might 
not become him.t 

On his departure, the 31st of July, 1719, the rule of the pro- 
vince devolved on Peter Schuyler, as the elder member of the 
council, for so it will be remembered, the last vacation of the gu- 
bernatorial chiir had been determined to be filled, if no lieutenant- 
governour was at hand. During he time which intervened between 
Hunter's departure, and the arrival of William Burnet, the worthy 
Peter Schuyler confirmed the ancient league between the province 
and the Iroquois, whose friendship had been grievously weakened 
by the feeble and disastrous attempts, which had been made 
against Canada. In this, and in every measure he could devise 
for the good of New York, the short period of Peter Schuyler's 
administration was employed. 

1720 The son of the celebrated Bishop Burnet, William, hav- 
ing exchanged his office of comptroller of the customs, with 

Hunter, for the government of New Jersey, and New York, took 
upon him the affairs of the latter province, on the 17th of Sep- 
tember, 1720. Along train of governours appointed by England, 
had been military men ; they had previously attained some rank 
as such, though it appeared to have been in conformity to Lord 
Chatham's subsequent opinion, that a man in his majesty's march- 
ing regiment could always be found, who was fitted for govern- 
ing an American colony. Sloughter, Ingoldsby, Fletcher, Corn- 
bury, and even Hunter, had proved themselves fitted to govern 

* About this time, it is said that Irish emigrants, settling Londonderry, in Maine, 
introduced the cultivation of potatoes in America. The culture must have spread 
rapidly, for the potatoe was familiar in New York and New Jersey beyond theme- 
mory of man of the present lime, or even of 70 years ago. 

t Burling, aquaker, of Long Island, published in 1718, a tract against slaveiy. 


as directed, for their own interests, and that of England ; but 
to govern as men seeking the good of the people for whom 
they were to enact and administer laws, they were contrasts in all 
things, to the rulers then and subsequently ciccud by the peo- 
ple. They were in most respects, contrasts to William Burnet. 
He is described by history and tradition, (for the latter source of 
information, begins now to dawn upon us,) as polite, sociable, well 
read, quick, intelligent, and well dispo-ed: but most extraordinary, 
he had not the usual desire to accumulate money. 

Burnet had received a knowledge of the state of the province, 
and of the leading men, while nsgocialing his exchange of offices; 
and the council named in his instructions, were. Colonel Peter 
Schuyler, Colonel Abraham de Peyster, Captain Robert Walters, 
Colonel Beekman, Mr. Hip Van Dam, Colonel Caleb Heathcote, 
^fr. John Barbaric, Mr. Phillipse, Mr. Byerly, Mr. Clarke, Mr. 
John Johnston, the ex-mayor, and Mr. Harrison. 

Governour Burnet was intimate, in a short time after his arrival, 
with Lewis Morris, who was of eminent service to him, both in New 
Jersey and New York. He soon understood the value of Cadwal- 
lader Colden, and advanced him to offices of profit and trust. To 
use the words of Gulian C. Verplanck, Esq., "among those to 
whom this country is most deeply indebted for much of its science, 
and for very many of its most important institutions, Cadwallader 
Colden is very conspicuous." This gentleman was born in Scot- 
land, February 17th, 16S8. He was, of course, at the beginning 
of Governour Burnet's administration, 32 years of age. Educated 
at the University of Edinburgh, he had devoted himself to the study 
of medicine, and the cultivation of mathematical science. His first 
place of residence in America, was Philadelphia, where he prac- 
tised physick, with success. He returned to Europe, and after 
some residence in London, visited Scotland, and there married a 
lady of the name of Christie, with whom, in 1716, he again came 
to Pennsylvania. 

Two years before Governour Burnet's arrival, Colden settled in 
the city of New York, where his mathematical knowledge procured 
him the appointment of surveyor-general, from his countryman, 
Governour Hunter; from whom, soon after, he received the addi- 
tional appointment of master in chancery. " The state of society 
in this country," Mr. Verplanck remarks, "which did not yet allow 
of the regular division either of labour or of professional study, 
rendered diis last appointment less remarkable than it might other- 
wise appear to a reader of the present day. Doctor Colden's gene- 
ral knowledge and habits of business soon qualified him for the able 
discharge of this office." 

With Morris, Colden, Alexander, Schuyler, Smith, and ayounger 


Livingston, (the former, so conspicuous in our history, having re- 
tired to his manor, and died in 1711,) Governour Burnet's supe- 
riour talents led him to see the true interests of the province, and 
empowered him to act in conformity. His unclouded mind soon 
comprehended the extensive designs of the French, and the advan- 
tages they derived from a trade not only with the Five Nations, but 
with Indians of what was then the far west, carried on by means of 
their post at the entrance of Lake Ontario, established by Count 
Frontignac, and called by his name. This trade was carried on 
by the French, with English articles, furnished by merchants in 
Great Britain to certain traders in Albany. Burnet saw, that sup- 
plying the Indians directly with the articles they preferred, the influ- 
ence of the Canadians would be annihilated ; and to do this, a fort 
and trading place must be established higher up the lake, more in 
the country of the Iroquois, and easily accessible to the western 
Indians. His maps and his counsellors told him that Oswego was 
the spot. 

Before Governour Burnet's time, the chiefs of the Iroquois had 
seen the disadvantages of receiving English goods through the 
French traders, and complained of it to the commissioners of Indian 
affairs,* who wrote to Governour Hunter on the subject. That 
governour laid the letter before the assembly; but the evil remained 
until Burnet, on the first session of the house after his arrival, car- 
ried through an act, prohibiting this circuitous trade, under penalty 
of a forfeiture of the goods and an additional fine of ^100. Mr. 
Burnet had in view not only to secure the trade and favour of the 
Indians, by an establishment at Oswego, (on the banks of Lake 
Ontario and of the river communicating directly with the Oneida 
Lake, the Onondaga and the Wood Creek, of that region,) but to 
thwart the views of France, which claimed from the St. Lawrence to 
the Mississippi, and, as Governour Spotteswode had foreseen, in- 
tended, by a chain of forts, to confine, if not subdue the English 
colonies on the Atlantick coast. 

* The commissioners of Indian affairs, resided at Albany, and were the channel 
of communication between the Iroquois and the governour of New York, repre- 
senting him in Indian transactions. They had no salaries, but received the monies 
intended to keep the Five Nations attached to the English, and they distributed the 
presents. In time they thrived by means known to office liolders. without salaries, 
even at this day. At the time Chief Justice Smith wrote, Sir William Johnson, 
was, and had long been the sole commis-sioner, and we shall see, as we progress, 
that he had grown rich on the unsalaried office. A secretary was paid for keeping mi- 
nutes, which subsequently fell into the hands of Sir John Johnson, the son of Wil- 
liam, and were lost to Americans. Smith says, the commissioners were generally 
traders, and therefore despised by the Indians. Sir William Johnson, within nine 
months after the arrival of Braddock, received £10,000 sterling, to secure the In- 
dian interest. Johnson kept up his credit with the Iroquois by exhibiting inferiour 
agents in the light of traders. 


1721 The leaders in the assembly being Morris and Living- 
ston, the governour carried all his measures.* 

1722 It was not until the year 1722, that Governour Burnetcould 
begin the establishment at Oswego. There was fierce opposi- 
tion to his prohibition of the circuitous trade from England to Albany 
and thence to INIontreal, by means of the Caugnawahgas, who acted 
as carriers. The English merchants who furnished the goods, and 
those Albany traders who sold to the French, carried their com- 
plaints, founded on misrepresentations, to the English lords of 
trade ; and it was only by the plain statement of the truth, vigour- 
ously set forth by Doctor Golden, that the arts of those who only 
consulted their own selfish views, were defeated. 

The governour's trading house, at Oswego, was established, and 
trusty persons appointed to reside there, and in the country of the 
Onondagas. He likewise visited Albany, where a congress of go- 
vernours met to confirm treaties, and transact other business with 
the Iroquois, who had been augmented by a portion of Nicaraugas, 
who were adopted, as the Tuscaroras had formerly been. 

This congress was composed of commissioners, and governours 
of provinces. It was the second American congress ; and had 
its effect in leading to those provincial, and general congresses, by 
which our independence was achieved. At this time, 1722, Go- 
vernours Spottesvvode of Virginia, Burnet of New York, and Keith 
of Pennsylvania, were deputies from other colonies. Sir William 
Keith seems to have been complimented with the presidency, though 
representing the youngest province, and possessing the meanest 
abilities, merely because he was distinguished by a title ; a circum- 
stance of great weight then (perhaps now) in America. 

He was a man, as described by James Grahame, "of insinua- 
ting address ; a shrewd, plausible, supple, and unprincipled adven- 
turer ; devoid of honour and benevolence ; governed entirely by 
mean vanity, and selfish interest."! Surely, such a man, although 
placed in the president's chair, could have little influence, where 
the representatives of New England were present, and a constella^ 
tion of intellect in Burnet, Spotteswode, Alexander, and Golden. 

Colonel Alexander Spotteswode, was a Scotch gentleman 
of the most upright and honourable character, distinguished 
for military skill and valour, as well as for scientifick attain- 
ments. He had penetrated the designs of the French, in estab- 
lishing posts in such situations as would give them possession of 

• Horatio Walpole sent out Mr. Clarke, to gain a hold upon the provincial trea- 
sury, but failed in his scheme : and Abraham De Peyster, junior, the son of the mem-< 
ber of the council, was appointed treasurer, under certain restraints. 

t Bee Franklin'* memoirs. 


the great interiour of America, and thus confine the English here- 
ticks, to tiie shores of the Atlantick, and perhaps it was to him 
that Burnet and Golden, owed a clear view of this important 

Covernour Spotteswode had already extended the frontiers of 
Virginia, by leading an exploring party over the Apalachian ridge, 
and showing to the colonists, the glorious country beyond, now so 
highly appreciated. He pointed out the advantages to be reaped, 
from extending their settlements, not only by enriching themselves, 
but by frustrating the intentions of their enemies. He transmitted a 
memorial to the English governnient, in which he predicted the 
operations of the French, and suggested a line of forts, marked out 
with the skill of an engineer, by which to anticipate the hostile in- 
tentions of the enemy. His plans, then easily executed, would have 
spared millions of expense in treasure, and the blood of the brave, 
the feeble, and the innocent. But the government of Great Bri- 
tain was occupied, if she thought of America, in schemes for ex- 
tracting money from the colonists, rather than plans for their pro- 
tection, and Spotteswode's memorial obtained no consideration, 
but was perhaps called to mind when fire, the tomahawk, and the 
scalping knife, desolated the frontiers, and a gallant army, led by 
Braddock, sunk under a foe that had been invited by neglect and 

This congress at Albany, in 1722, secured the chiefs of the Iro- 
quois, and the treaties with this people were renewed and confirmed : 
but at every step they were met by the active genius of the Ghevalier 
de Joncaire, who guided the actions of the other French agents 
thrown among the Five Nations, and the effects of this extraordinary 
individual were found powerful in opposition even to a body of 
men, at the head of whom were Spotteswode and Burnet. 

The Ghevalier de Joncaire had devoted himself to the plans of 
the Ganadian and French government: to carry them into effect, 
the aid or acquiescence of the Iroquois was necessary. To extend 
the dominion of France, and of the Roman religion, this accom- 
plished French gentleman, bade adieu to civilized life, and by long 
residence among the Senecas, adopting their mode of life, and 
gaining their confidence, he procured himself to be adopted into 
the tribe, and to be considered as a leader in their councils. His 
influence with the Onondagas, was almost as great as with his own 
tribe. By introducing and supporting the priests, and other mis- 
sionaries, employed by the Jesuits and instructed by the governour: 
by sending intelligence to Montreal or Quebec, by these spies ; by 
appearing at all treaty councils, and exerting his natural and ac- 
quired eloquence — it is necessary to say, he was master of their 
language — he incessantly thwarted in a great measure the wishes 
of the English, and particularly set himself in opposition to 

Burnet's administration. 287 

the government of New York. But the views of Burnet, in regard 
to the direct trade, backer! by the presents di.^phiyed to the savages, 
met their approbation in despite of Joncaire and the Jesuits. 

Tlie conduct of the Chevalier de Joncaire, is only paralclled as 
far a? I now recollect, by that of the Jeniit Ualle ; wlio>e inlkience 
with the Indians inhabiting the territory between New England and 
Canada, produced effects disastrous to the eastern colonists, and 
an unbounded attachment to himself and his countrymen. It is 
not improbable that Joncaire, as well as Ralle, was of the society 
of Jesuits, for it is the policy of this insidious combination that 
its members shall appear as laymen, in many instances, rather than 
as ecclesiastics. 

At this congress of 1723, Governour Burnet prevailed upon 
the Iroquois to send a message to the Eastern Indians, threatening 
them with war if they did not cease their incursions uj^on the New 
England frontiers. 

1723 The effect of Governour Burnet's plan, (by which the 
goods wanted by the Indians were carried directly to Os- 
wego, instead of passing through Albany to Montreal, and thence 
to fort Frontignac,) was seen by nations residing about ^lichilimack- 
inack, coming to ()swego and Albany to exchange their peltries for 
the articles of commerce. It is amusing, to see by the statements 
of this date, that the countries now so familiar to us, were tJien 
unknown, and the inhabitants viewed as strangers coming from the 
far west, and exciting the curiosity even of those who were in 
habits of intimate conmiunion with the Iroquois. We learn, that 
in May, 1723, a nation of Indians came to Albany, singing an i 
dancing; with their calumets (the pipes of peace or friendship) 
borne before them : and the commissioners of Indian afiairs were 
not able to inform themselves what nation this was. And after- 
ward, eighty men with dieir women and children came in the same 
manner, bringing with them an interpreter from the Iroquois. 
These said they were called Nc/ikereages ; that they came from 
Michilimackinack, between the Upper Lake and Lake Hinon. In 
July another nation came to trade, called by the French Mi amies ; 
and some of the Tahsagrondies : and others that were unknown. 
The Tahsagrondies said the French had a fort in their country 

called Detroit. 

1724 In the year 1724, Governour Burnet was involved in a 
dispute with Mr. De Lancey, who is represented as a rich 

man, and the principal benefactor of the French church established 
in New York by the refugees who fled from the revocation of the edict 
of Nantz. The governour took part with M. Rou, in opposition to 
the clergyman upheld by De Lancey and a majority of the con- 
gregation ; and Mr. De Lancey being returned as a member of 
assembly, Burnet refused to administer the oath to him, upon the 


ground that he was not a subject of the crown. De Lancey repHed, 
that he was made a denizen in England, '* in a patent of denization 
granted in the reign of James II, and under the seal of this pro- 
vince, in 1686." The house decided in favour of De Lancey* — 
but a feud existed between him and many of the protestants against 
Burnet. The assembly claimed the right of judging of their own 
members, and although the governour still held a majority, his 
conduct in this case was considered unconstitutional ; and his op- 
position to De Lancey, to have originated in the latter's espousing 
the French trade in opposition to Burnet's plan of trade by 

1725 The prosperity of Oswego in its commerce, the English 
in great numbers going among the Indians, and returning 

1726 with canoes laden with peltry, was a sore mortification to 
the French of Canada, besides that it indicated an antici- 
pation of their scheme of hemming in the colonies by means of 
garrisons, and the influence of the western tribes. In ] 726, they 
put in execution a bold step, both for trade and ukimate conquest. 
They advanced at once from fort Frontignac at the foot or outlet 
of Lake Ontario, and transported materials to the head of Ontario ; 
taking possession of the former post at Niagara, and immediately 
repairing the fort and erecting a trading house. 

M. de Longueil, who had succeeded Vaudrueil in the govern- 
ment of Canada, after preparing the Onondagas by the representa- 
tions of his Jesuits, went thither himself, and obtained their consent 
to the establishment at Niagara. The other four nations did not 
agree, and the Senecas ordered them oft' from Niagara. The 
French hastened their fortress, and M. Joncaire, before mentioned, 
exerted himself to make the Iroquois think this French establish- 
ment for their benefit, not only by preventing the English from 
monopolizing their trade, but as a security against the encroach- 
ments of that people. Joncaire, a Seneca by adoption, and a 
favourite with the Onondagas, was possessed of great influence 
throughout with the confederates, which was steadily used for for- 
warding the plans of his countrymen. He facilitated the reception 
of missionaries, and directed their intrigues against the province 
of New York. In vain Peter Schuyler exerted himself to per- 
suade or bribe the Indians to dismiss Joncaire, he preserved his 

* Was this the Stephen De Lancey who appears as an alderman in 1691 7 Or 
was it Pierre De Lancey, who arrived after the revocation of the edict of Nantz, and 
married into the house of Van Cortlandt ? From the mention of denization in tha 
reign of James H, which reign terminated in 1688, and which denization is placed 
before the provincial denization of 1686 ; it appears, that this De Lancey must 
have left France before the revocation of the edict of Nantz, and must have been 


power, and at his death, left his son among the Iroquois, to con- 
tinue the Frencli influence among them. 

All Governour Burnet could do, was to protest against the Ca- 
nadian encroachments, which he did, in strong terms, to the legis- 
lature of New York and to the ministry of England. He assem- 
bled the chiefs of the Iroquois at Albany ; he reminded them of all 
the benefits they had received from England, and all the injuries 
that had been inflicted by France. He pointed out the evils that 
would flow to them from a French fort at Niagara, on their terri- 
tory. The Indians declared their unwillingness to suffer this in- 
trusion of the French, but said, they now had not power to prevent 
it. They called upon the Governour of New York to write to the 
King of England for help to regain their country from the French 
of Canada. Burnet seized this opportunity to gain a surrender of 
their country to England, to be protected for their use. Such a 
surrender would be used by Europeans for their own purposes ; 
but (in the sense they viewed and represented it,) was altogether 
incomprehensible by the Indian chiefs ; and the deputies had no 
power from the Iroquois confederacy to make any such sur- 
1727 Burnet's military force was inadequate to the removal of 

. the French from Niagara ; but he fortified the post at Os- 
wego, and for that purpose advanced his own money, part of which 
v/as never repaid by the province or the king. 

By the treaty of Utrecht, as above mentioned, France had ack- 
nowledged the Iroquois and their territory to be subject to Great 
Britain. Niagara was never disputed to be within the country of 
the Senecas, yet the violation of the treaty was applauded by Father 
Charlevoix ; and the Governour of Canada, who succeeded Lon- 
gueil, complained to Governour Burnet of his proceedings, in 
respect to the fort at Niagara. 

The opposition to Governour Burnet prevailed in the assembly. 
The friends of the circuitous trade were, of course, his foes. The 
affair of the French church was urged against him : his court of chan- 
cery was clamoured against ; and his decrees, as chancellor, had made 
enemies of many rich and powerful individuals among the pro- 
vincials. He dissolved the assembly ; and when appointed to 
the government of Massachusetts, his removal from New York was 
considered as a blessing by those he had offended and those who 
could not comprehend the views of the French court, or appreciate 
the valuable services which William Burnet had rendered, not only 
to New York, but to all the colonies, by endeavouring to counteract 

The general course of Governour Burnet's administration, ap- 
pears to have been fair and honourable ; but I can see no just rea-r 
son for his removing Peter Schuyler from the council. He doubt" 

VOL. 1. 37 


less, substituted a good man, in James Alexander ; and the 
exchange of Golden for Phillipse, was altogether in favour of the 
province. It is, however, very difficult to judge, except in obvious 
cases, of the conduct of a man who has passed away a century ago; 
certain it is, that Mr. Burnet, who had married a provincial, (Miss 
Van Home) left New York with regret, and was much regretted by 
many who had witnessed his public acts and shared in the society 
of a learned, scientific, and benevolent gentleman. 

Burnet was free from the vices of his military predecessors ; he 
was not infected by the petty pride derived from a red coat and laced 
epaulettes ; neither had he the desire to accumulate money — a vice, 
as Mr. Thomas F. Gordon justly observes, " common to colonial 
governours." His conversation was the delight of men of letters ; 
and he carried little with him but the love of his associates and his 



Montgomerie Governour — Burnet in Massachusetts — Nature of colo- 
nial government — Military governours — Members of the council 
at this time — Death of Montgomerie — Rip Van Dam — Colonel 

Coshi/, governour Dispicte ivUh Van Dam Bradford and 

Zenger — Smith and Alexander — The aristocratick and demo- 
cratick parties, and their leaders — De Lancey and Phillipse — 
Zenger'' s trial. 

1727 The son of Bishop Burnet reluctantly abandoned a pro- 
vince he had faithfully endeavoured to serve, and in which, 

by his marriage into the family of Van Home, he had connected 
himself with the ancient inhabitants. Many regretted the loss of 
his pleasant society, and men of literature and science felt his loss 
severely. There were some who thought the higher of him, that 
he inherited a portion of his father's propensity to the study of divi- 
nity, and valued him for (that which produced a smile of derision in 
others,) his exposition of the prophecies. 

Being removed to Massachusetts, he was succeeded by the ho- 
nourable John Montgomerie, a courtier, who had been groom of the 
chamber to George, Prince of Wales ; who, on becoming George 
n. King of England, rewarded his groom — by making him gover- 
nour of a province 

He arrived on the 15th of April, 172S, as governour and chan- 
cellor, of New York. 

1728 It is recorded, to the honour of Montgomerie, that he 
declined officiating in the latter capacity, until the lords of 

trade, or the king's ministers, positively ordered him so to do : and 
who, like Lord Chatham, at a later day, thought that no company 
of his majesty's marching military, but had a man in it, fit to govern 
a province, though in 172S, the man who governed New York, 
was by the appointment, qualified for a chancellor. 

Burnet anticipated troubles in ^Massachusetts, and hi was not dis- 
appointed; although his reception indicated nothing less. He was 
received by a committee on the borders of Rhode Island, and 
attended to Boston, by such a cortege, as never graced royal 
governour before or after. Gratified as he :nust have been by 
these honours, he was annoyed by the long graces before meat ; 
for it is recorded, that he asked Colonel Tailer, one of the Boston 
committee, " when these lengthy ceremonies would be shortened. 


Tailer who was somewhat of a wit, and saw the jocose disposition 
of the new governour, answered, with apparent solemnity, please 
your honour, the graces will increase in length, until you come to 
Boston ; after that, they will shorten, till you come to your govern- 
ment of New Hampshire ; there you will find no grace at all." 

Governour Burnet, was during life at variance with the assem- 
bly of Massachusetts ; principally on account of the fixed salary 
which he was instructed to insist upon. The assembly was deter- 
mined in their opposition ; and the contest was only ended by the 
governour's death. When the grave had received the remains 
of this good man, (to which they were attended by the pomp and 
ceremony of a public funeral, expressive of respect and regret,) the 
people of the bay province, did justice to the merits of the person, 
who as governour, they were obliged to restrict and oppose. 

On the 16th of April, 1728, the common council of the city of 
New York, presented a congratulatory address to Governour Mont- 
gomerie, in a gold box. Any change was acceptable to a people, 
who felt that they were not governed as freemen, or even as Eng- 
glish subjects. 

The reader, if not already convinced of it, will hereafter see, 
that the government of the colonies, or his majesty's plantations, 
was, in its very nature, oppressive to the people. Judge Egbert 
Benson, says, " we were once the subjects of the prince, the su- 
preme magistracy in him, as in an inheritance, the people privi- 
leged to choose only a portion, a third branch of the legislature." 

This was an usurped government over people who fled from 
similar privation of rights in Europe. Men by degrees lose self 
respect. It was once the boast of the people of New York, that 
" our masters did not disparage us, by placing over us, any person 
of mean condition, and that the greater part of the governours, sent 
out to rule over us, were noblemen, or of noble descent." The 
good folks were proud of the honour, of having their pockets 
squeezed by a queen's cousin, or any other titled spendthrift sent 
out to collect from them the money to satisfy his European credi- 
tors. Can we then wonder that provincials were despised by their 
fellow subjects of England ^ 

Montgornerie was a soldier by profession, and in his latter y6ars 
a courtier by practice. The colony had been governed by a civi- 
lian, again it was ruled by a military man, whose only care was to 
induce the assembly to settle his salary; which they did for five 
years. He then, ir. October, visited Albany, to confirm the Iroquois 
in their former engagements, by holding a council with the chiefs. 
A groom of the chambers to a German prince, seems little fitted for 
negociating with Indians, of whom probably he had never seen one 
until his arrival in his government, unless he happened to be in 
London, eighteen years before, when Peter Schuyler exhibited his 


five Iroquois, to the delight of court and populace ; but his council 
could tell him what to do, and the ministry had amply furnished 
him with presents, very persuasive arguments with the Indians 
of this time : he procured for them guns and powder, blankets and 
lead, and they gave promises in return. 

From his journey to the end of civilization, he returned gladly to 
New York, to enjoy his ease without care for the interests of the 
province ; while the indefatigable French of Canada, carried on 
their designs by means of their Jesuits, and their trading posts. Mr. 
Montgomerie had no particular party to uphold ; his aversion to 
chancery business pleased the assembly, while the council seem 
to have been as quiescent as the governour could wish. 

Burnet, however, although removed to Massachusetts, did not 
forget the interests of New York, and knowing the designs of the 
French, kept up a necessary system of watchful intelligence, in 
regard to their movements. He learned, that they were not con- 
tent with posts at both ends of Lake Ontario, but had determined 
to demolish his fort at Oswego : of this he informed the governour 
and council of New York, and however indisposed INIontgomerie 
might be to action, or ignorant of the policy of the province, (and he 
appears to have been ignorant on all topicks,) several members of the 
council were possessed of the requisite knowledge, and disposed 
to carry into effect, the views of Governour Burnet. Golden and 
Alexander, were attached to him, understood his policy ; Van 
Home, was his relative by marriage, and Robert Livingston, the 
second, was a man of information, and the son-in-law of Peter 
Schuyler, which alone, would make him adroit in Indian affairs : 
the other members, (Walters, Van Dam, Barbaric, Glarke, 

1729 Harrison, Morris junior, Provoost, and Kennedy,) would not 
oppose, if they did not urge Mr. Burnet's desire, and on the 

receipt of a letter, in ]\Iarch, 1729, sufficient force was dispatched 
to Oswego, to deter the French from an attack upon the fort, 
and to encourage the Iroquois to stand forward in its defence if 

1730 So far, the views of Governour Burnet prospered ; but 
the mercantile interest, which had been concerned in the 

1731 Indian trade by the way of Albany and Montreal, prevailed, 
aided by French influence at the Court of Great Britain, 

and the acts passed by Burnet in favour of the direct trade, were 

Montgomerie enjoyed the government of New York about two 
years — dying on the 1st of July, 1731 — at a time when Mr. Rip 
Van Dam was the eldest member of council, and, of course, his 
successor in power. "He took the oaths," says Chief Justice 
William Smith, " before Messrs. Alexander, Van Home, Ken- 
nedy, De Lancey, and Cortlandt. This De Lancey, was James, 


who was called by Montgomerie to the council, though a youth in 
1729, just after his return from the university.'** Morris had been 
suspended by Montgomerie, for some words relative to "the gover- 
nour's drafts upon the revenue." 

Mr. Van Dam seems to have been passive as to French affairs ; 
and they, the French, not content with the bold steps taken at the 
west, to secure Lake Ontario, very openly seized upon Lake Cham- 
plain, on the south side, and erected a fort at Crown Point, on the 
Iroquois territory, but considered, even at that time, part of New 

Mr. Van Dam, as I have before said, had by dint of w^ealth 
honestly acquired in the way of trade, and those qualities which 
made trade profitable, raised himself from a member of the common 
council to a seat in his majesty's or the governour's council; from 
being one of the people, to being considered one of the people of 
fi"-ure. He was now, as president of the council, virtually, gover- 
nour of the province until the king should send out a qualified and 

instructed person for the office. 
1732 Governour Cosby was appointed to succeed Montgomerie, 

butdid not arrive until the Istof August, 1732 — leaving Mr. 
Van Dam to supply his place for thirteen months. During part of this 
time, the good people of New York seem to have been in dread, that 
a law before parliament, called the S^ugar Bill, and meant to favour 
the West Indies, would ruin the province. Colonel Cosby — for 
this governour was also a mihtary man, who had previously been 
Governour of Minorca — being in London, used his influence to 
promote the wishes of the colonists, by opposing the bill, although 
without effect, the matter being undetermined at the time of his 
arrival in New York. The first assembly which met him being in 
session at the time of his arrival, considered him as a friend to the 
people, and following the popular wish, readily granted a revenue 
to support the government for six years — which included a salary 
for the governour, of .£1,560, with certain emoluments, (to be 
gained out of supplies for the forts,) amounting to .£400, and 
.£150 to pay his expenses in a journey to Albany, besides a sum to 
be laid out in presents for the Iroquois. They afterwards resolved 
to present him with £750, as compensation for his services in as- 
sisting the agents of the colony in their opposition to the Sugar Bill. 

All this, Chief Justice Smith tells us, did not satisfy the colonel, 
who had come to New York to make a fortune, and had not sense 
enough to see that it was his interest to improve the popularity 

* It appears by this and other expressions of Chief Justice Smith, that James De 
Lancey received his education at an English university ; and had not, as yet, th« 
feelings of a provincial or of an American. 


which attended, or rather preceded his arrival. Meeting Mr. IVIorris, 
who had a seat in the assembly, he, in the true spirit of an Euro- 
pean militairc, looking down with contempt upon an American pro- 
vincial, on hearing of the gratuity voted by the assembly from Mor- 
ris, (one of the members) exclaimed, " Damn them ! why did not 
they add shillings and pence V 

But Van Dam, the merchant, who had governed the province 
during his residence in London, caused still fiercer ire in the breast 
of the colonel, when a settlement of accounts was called for. While 
the provincial was in the governour's chair, he received the salary. 
Colonel Cosby brought with him the king's order, dated the 31st of 
May, 1732, for an equal partition between himself and the presi- 
dent of the council, of the salary, emoluments and perquisites of the 
office, from the time Mr. Van Dam first administered the govern- 
ment to that at which Colonel Cosby relieved him.* 

In consequence of this, the colonel demanded half of the salary 
which the president had received for the thirteen months during which 
he executed the office of governour. The merchant immediately 
saw that Cosby had received more in perquisites and emoluments 
than the amount of salary, and offered to make division according 
to tlie sovereign's order. He stated his receipts at ^1,97-5 7s lOd, 
and those of the colonel as .£6,407 18 10. The English gover- 
nour demanded half the salary: the Dutch merchant agreed, pro- 
vided he received half the perquisites and emoluments; but refused 
otherwise. He would retain his salary, if his opponent was con- 
tent; otherwise he appealed to the order for a division, which gave 
him a balance of upwards of ,£2,400. 

The governour, to compel Van Dam to refund half the salary, 

* A question was raised, whether Vau Dam should receive tlie whole salary 
allowed to a governour, and the opinion of the assemhly was asked ; but they de- 
clined giving an opinion, leaving it to the council, who consented that the warrants 
should be drawn lor the whole. Cosby, on his arrival and friendly reception by 
the assembly, waited until their adjournment, and then produced the king's instruc- 
tions to take to himself one half the salary and emoluments during A'an Dam's ad- 
ministration, leaving him one half. Van Dam agrees, provided Cosby accounts 
for certain monies received by him, and shares with Van Dam, such monies. 
Cosby refuses, and erects a court of exchequer, to compel Van Dam to comply 
with his terms. Suits commence on either part: but Cosby appoints the judges. 
Van Dam denies the legality of tlie proceedings. Chief Justice JMorris declines 
to obey the governour's orders in the case, as illegal, and is by him suspended, after 
serving twenty years unimpeachably. James De Lancey was appointed in his place. 
Here the Morris family are connected with the democratick side, and the Delancey 
with the royal, as afterwards in 1775. Frederick Phillipse was second judge. The 
Phillipse's took the royal party, likewise. The court decides against Van Dam. 
Van Dam, in his published account, states that Cosby received, before his arrival 
and while Van Dam administered the government, emoluments, i. e. monies 
received by Cosby for pretended services and expenditures, as for Indian pre- 
sents, never given — a voyage to Albany, not made, he, Cosby, being in England 
—overcharges of clothing, subsistence, etc., for troops, 


without allusion to emolument, " proceeded," says Smith, "against 
Van Dam, in the exchequer." Van Dam endeavoured to institute 
a suit at common law. This, Coshy and his friends dreaded — as 
the president of the council v/as popular, and the jury would allow 
a setoff. In the court of chancery, Cosby himself presided. 

In certain instances the judges of the supreme court had pro- 
ceeded according to the course of the exchequer. Their com- 
missions directed them to " make such rules and orders as near 
as may be, to those of the English courts of king's bench, common 
pleas and exchequer." This had given the hint to Cosby's advi- 
sers for proceeding in equity, " as De Lancey and Phillipse were 
the governour's intimate friends." 

1733 The counsel for Van Dam, were Mr. William Smith, 
(the father of the historian,) and Mr. James Alexander, (the 

father of William Alexander, afterwards Lord Stirling.) These 
were the two most eminent lawyers in the colony, and had, as before 
observed, arrived at the same time, 1716 : they, in defence of 
Van Dam, excepted to the jurisdiction of the court to which the 
governour resorted. Chief Justice Morris supported the excep- 
tion ; but Messrs. De Lancey and Phillipse, two of the judges, 
overruled the plea. Morris pubUshed his opinion, and Cosby 
removed him from office and placed De Lancey in his seat. This 
the military governour did, without consulting his own, and his 
majesty's council, and thereby set himself in opposition to that body. 

The order for overruling the plea of Smith and Alexander was 
delivered in presence of a crowded court room ; where was expressed 
great indignation, and immediately after, (the 9th of April, 1733,) 
Governour Cosby departed to his province of New Jersey. On 
his return, in August, he presented Mr. James Delancey at the 
council board, (where there was then no quorum,) as chief justice, 
without asking any opinion from those present ; and Phillipse as 
second judge. The council at this time consisted of Messrs. Clark, 
Harrison, Kennedy, Horsemanden, Colden, De Lancey, Lane, 
Cortlandt, Livingston and Phillipse. These judges (De Lancey 
and Phillipse) were appointed during pleasure. 

The province was now divided into two violent parties ; the 
democratick or popular, sided with Van Dam ; the aristocratick or 
people of figure, with Cosby ; who, notwithstanding his unpopular 
measures and conduct, still held a majority in the house of repre- 
sentatives. His advisers caused him to propitiate the peo- 

1734 pie by several popular acts in the session of June, 1734, 
but the opposition assailed the court of exchequer, counsel 

was heard for and against it, but nothing definite resulted. During 
this session, the quakers obtained the same exemption from oaths as 
allowed in England ; and appropriations were made for fortifications. 
The privilege of testifying without oath, which places the character 

cosby's ad.mim.stration'. 297 

of a quaker higher than that of any other citizen, was at this time 
formally obtained, in consequence of the sheriff, at an election, 
insisting upon the oath from the people of that sect, contrary to 
existing custom. 

Bradford, who had in 1687, set up the first printing press in 
Pennsylvania, while yet there was none in New York, was at this 
time the government printer, and issued a newspaper weekly, in 
the latter city.* 

This publication was occupied exclusively by the governour's 
friends, and in support of his measures : but the patriots, as they 
were then called, who sided with Van Dam, did not lack an engine 
for offence and defence. Zenger, who acknowledges in one of his 
journals, that he was indebted to Queen Anne for paying his pas- 
sage to America, published at this time a weekly paper in New 
York ; and this was the mouth-piece of opposition to Cosby, and 
support to Van Dam. The writers in Zenger's journal attacked 
every branch of the government, for Cosby had with him a majority 
of the council and house of assembly. 

Mingled with this controversy, was a charge brought against Mr. 
Plarrison, one of the council, of having written a paper threatening 
Mr. Alexander and family, unless money was deposited in a cer- 
tain spot for the writer. It was supposed that Harrison, wished 
(the writing was declared to be his,) to provoke a criminal prose- 
cution for the purpose of establishing a precedent of convicting, 
" on the proof of a similitude of hands," and then by imitating the 
hand writing of one of the popular leaders, convict him on the 
same proof, punish him, and by the governour's pardon protect 
Harrison. The paper being brought before the grand jury, Mr. 
Alexander, argued against their finding an indictment upon such 
grounds. The matter was laid before the council, who declared 
Mr. Harrison incapable of the act, and offered ,£50 by proclama- 
tion, for the discovery of the writer.t The suspicion still rested 

* Bradford's press, in Philadelphia, was situated near the tree called the " treaty 
tree," under whose boughs William Penn made his purchase of soil from the 
Delawares. The first sheet printed by Bradford was an almanack ; and the first 
book printed by him, was written by George Keith, teacher of the first school es- 
tablished in Pennsylvania. Keith had entered into a controversy with the quakers 
who had employed him, and their wrath drove the printer to New York ; where, in 
1725 he commenced the first newspaper which had been published in that province. 
It will be recollected, that the earlier governours sent from England, were instructed 
not to permit such a pestiferous engine to be erected. 

+ In William Bradford's New York Gazette, for February the 25th, 1733, will 
be found a proclamation, offering a reward of £5U. for discovering the author of 
a letter, threatening James Alexander, and his family, with destruction, if certain 
"villanous demands" are not complied with: and reward and pardon, to any ac- 
complice making discovery. In Zenger's (or the democratick) Journal, Francis 
Harrison, one of the councU, is charged with writing this " villanous" incendiary 
epistle containing said threatnings ; and the idea is conveyed, that he wrote the 
VOL. I. 38 

293 cosby's administration. 

upon Harrison, and some other mal-practices coming to light, he 
left the country.* 

This, although not the commencement of the division between 
the aristocratick party, who looked to England for riches and 
honour ; and who were supplied from thence, with leaders and 
authority, and the democracy, ever ready as it has been found in 
this country, to assert its rights, and present an undaunted front of 
opposition ; yet it may be well to trace the progress of this division, 
until it resulted in throwing off that transatlantick authority, which 
claimed the right of legislating for those who had sought a refuge 
in America, from Eiovpecm legislation — until the hand which 
(under the pretence of protection,) was stretched forth with chains, 
disguised as garlands, was repulsed with indignation, and blows, 
by those who saw the irons through the roses. 

Great Britain found many of the leading men in the provinces 
of New York, and in New Jersey, ready to accept offices, and titles 
of supposed honour ; but there were among the leaders, those who 
saw the intended vassalage of the country ; and others who joined 
in the cry of patriotism from jealousy of rivals. We know that the 
mixed motives on both parts, will not bear the appellation of pure, 
or deserve the unqualified reproach of being sordid ; individuals of 
both parties, deserve either appellation. I will endeavour to trace 
the effects we now feel to their causes, within the limited sphere, 
I have assigned to my researches. 

It is well, both as it is curious, and instructive, to keep in mind 
the leading families, who at this time and before, took part for or 
against the people. In 1689, all the aristocratick party were linked 
together, and opposed to the people : in 1734, we find them divided, 
and that division is to be perceived more distinctly, at the period 
of final rupture with England, in 1776. We find in 1734, on the 
part of the aristocracy, and of England, the names of Golden, 
Kennedy, De Lancey, Cortlandt, and Phillipse : these families 
were all friends to the same part in 1776 : but Morris and Alex- 
ander, and their descendants, as now in 1734, were ranged on the 
popular side; and in 1776, the Schuylers and the Livingstons were 
fully with them. 

I return from this digression, if it is one, to the affairs of 1734, 
and particularly those of Zenger, and Van Dam. 

The squibs, ballads, serious charges, and above all, home truths 
in the Democratick Journal, irritated Cosby and his council to 

letter for the purpose of throwing odium, or otherwise injuring the democratick 
party. In Bradford's paper, again Harrison declares the charge false and malicious. 
Out of this, in part, grew the imprisonment and trial of Zengre. 
* See Appendix, V. 

cosby's admimstratiox. 299 

The objections raised against the court, in which Cosby wished 
to decide his controversy with Van Dam, lay principally against 
the judges of the supreme court, being at the same time, barons 
of the exchequer. " Had the governoiir appointed other barons, 
all clamour against the legality of the court must have ceased," 
says Chief Justice Smith. But this was not Cosby's aim. The new 
Chief Justice De Lancey in vain laboured to procure an indict- 
ment against Zenger. In the October term he renewed his efibrts. 
He called the attention of the grand jury to certain low ballads, 
which lie charged to be libels. " Sometimes, ( says the judge,) 
heavy, half-witted men get a knack of rhyming, but it is time to break 
them of it when they grow abusive, insolent, and mischeivous with 
it." The ballads being presented, were ordered to be burnt by 
the common whipper ; and the inquest, on their addressing the 
governour for a proclamation oflering a reuard for a discovery of 
the author, received a gracious answer. 

The council, about the same time, urged the assembly to a con- 
ference for detecting the writer of certain other libels in Zenger's 
Journal. The council addressed the governour, desiring the 
printer to be prosecuted. The papers were laid before the assem- 
bly, but they ordered them to lie on the table. 

The council on the 2nd of November, made the following order: 
" Whereas, by an order of this board, of this day, some of John 
Peter Zenger's Journals, entitled. The New York Weekly Jour- 
nal, containing the freshest advice, foreign and domestick. No. 7, 
47, 48, 49, were ordered to be burnt by the hands of the common 
hangman, or whipper, near the pillory in this city, on Wednesday, 
the 6th instant, between the hours of eleven and twelve in the fore- 
noon, as containing in them, many things tending to sedition and 
faction, to bring his majesty's government into contempt, and to 
disturb the peace thereof, and containing in them likewise, not only 
reflections upon his excellency the governour in particular, the 
legislature in general, but also upon the most considerable persons 
in the most distinguised stations in this province ; it is therefore 
ordered, that the mayor, and magistrates of diis city, do attend the 
burning of the several papers or journals aforesaid, numbered as 
above mentioned. — Fred. Morris, D. CI. Con." 

"To Robert Lurting, Esquire, mayor of the city of New York, 
and the rest of the magistrates for die said city and county." 

" When the sheriff moved for the compliance of the magistrates 
at the quarter sessions, the court would not suffer the order to be 
entered, and the aldermen offered a protest against it, as an arbi- 
trary and illegal injunction. Harrison, the recorder, was present, 
and put to a defiance for its justification. He mentioned the ex- 
ample of the lords in Sacheveral's case, and their proceedings 
against bishop Burnet's pastoral letter, and withdrew. They for- 

300 zenger's trial- 

bade even their whipper to obey it, and his place was supphed by a 
negro slave of the sheriff's ; the recorder, and a few dependants 
upon the governour, honoured the solemnity of executing this edict 
with their presence. Not many days after, Zenger, in pursuance 
of a proclamation, was seized, thrown into jail, and denied pen, 
ink, and paper. His friends procured a habeas corpus for his 
enlargement. The exceptions to his return were argued by his 
council, Messrs. Alexander and Smith. 

" The prisoner swore, that, except the tools of his trade, he was 
not worth forty pounds in the world, and yet bail was exacted in 
the penalty of <£800 ; upon this he was enlarged, and being well 
supported, prosecuted his paper." 

But before this enlargement, which Chief Justice Smith speaks 
of, (unless it was the enlargement, of communicating through the 
hole in the door,) Zenger, on the 25th of November, 1734, in his 
paper of that date, apologizes for not printing the last weekly jour- 
nal, as the governour, by warrant, had put him in jail ;* but as now 
he had the liberty of speaking through the hole in the door, he 
could continue to entertain his customers by publishing his journal. 
In answer to one of his opponents, he acknowledges, that he " was 
brought over, at the charitable expense of the crown," for which he 
returns thanks to Queen Anne. In another passage, he says, that 
Harrison had threatened to cane him ; but his sword would pro- 
tect him. In those days, swords were almost as common as wigs, 

and worn as part of the dress. 
1735 In April term, 1735, Zenger's council, or the cham- 

pions of the people, Messrs. Alexander and Smith, filed 
exceptions to the commissions of the judges, De Lancey and Phil- 
lipse. First, to the tenure, which was at will and pleasure. Se- 
cond, to the investiture. Third, to the form. And lastly, to the 
want of evidence, that the council concurred with the governour in 
their appointment. 

The judges, of course, repelled this attack, and on the 16th of 
April, Mr. De Lancey, chief justice, addressing Mr. Smith, said : 
*' You have brought it to that point, that either we must go from 
the bench, or you from the bar." — And the counsel were silenced. 

The court assigned Mr. Chambers as counsel for John Peter 
Zenger, who pleaded the general issue for his client, and obtained 
a rule for a struck jury. 

The trial was brought on at the court in July, and nothing omit- 
ted by the silenced lawyers to give it a favourable issue. The press 
had groaned all the preceding vacation, with every species of com- 

* It must be constantly borne in mind, that the prisons, jails or dungeons, of New 
York, were at this time, and until 1756 or 1760, all under the roof of the City Hall, 
in Wall street ; ronsequently the jail Zenger speaks of was a room in this building. 

/ENGEa's TRIAL. 301 

position, tending to animate, alarm, inform, or captivate the minds 
of the rauhitude ; and the stratagem to deprive tlie defendant of 
help, disserved the end for which it was intended. Aware of the 
inadmissibility of all proof to justify the libels, they had the art to 
exhibit them to the public by the press, and at clubs, and other 
meetings for private conversation ; and, considering the inflamed 
state of a small county, consisting at that time of less than a thou- 
sand freeholders qualified for jurors, it was easy to let every man 
perfectly into the full merits of the defence. Besides, he drew 
some advantages from a struck jury, since he could nearly conjec- 
ture, out of a pannel of twenty-four men, which of the twelve would 
be charged with his cause. 

These preparations being made, ]Mr. Hamilton, who had been 
secretly engaged, presented himself on the day of trial as the cham- 
pion of liberty. He was a member of one of the inns of court, 
an opulent citizen of Philadelphia, in high reputation at the bar. 
He had art, eloquence, vivacity, and humour, was ambitious of 
fame, negligent of nothing to ensure success, and possessed a con- 
fidence which no terrors could awe. 

He asserted, that the matters charged were the truth, and there- 
fore no libel. He ridiculed the notion advanced by the judges, 
that " a libel was more dangerous for being true." His debates 
with the court persuaded the jury, before he addressed them, that 
the refusal of the judges to permit evidence of the truth of the pub- 
lications, added to the tyranny of which the people complained ; 
and then, turning to the jury, he recapitulated the passages in the 
journal — asserted them to be true — and left his client in the 
hands of the jury, who pronounced him not guilty. 

Shouts shook the hall. The judges threatened the leader of 
the tumult with imprisonment ; when a son of Admiral Norris de- 
clared himself the leader, and invited a repetition of the huzzas. 
The judges had no time for a reply, for the shouts were instantly 
repeated, and Mr. Hamilton was conducted from the hall, by the 
crowd, to a splendid entertainment. The whole city renewed the 
compliment at his departure the next day ; he entered the barge 
under a salute of cannon, and the corporation presented him with the 
freedom of the city in a gold box, on which its arms were engraved, 
encircled with the words, " Demersae leges — timefacta libertas 
— haec tandem emergunt ;" in a flying garter within, " Non num- 
mis, virtute paratur ;" and on the other front, " Ita cuique eveniat 
ut de republica meruit." 

I will here give a note, made by Chancellor Kent : 

" Report of the case of Peter Zenger, printer of the New York 
weekly journal. [This paper was commenced November 5th, 
1733.] On the 17th of November, 1734, Zenger was arrested 
and imprisoned by the order of the council, for printing and 

302 zexger's tuial. 

publisliing seditious libels. He was then brought before the 
chief justice, on habeas corpus, and his counsel objected to the 
legality of the warrant, and insisted on his being admitted to bail. 
(James Alexander and William Smith were his counsel.) He was 
ordered to give bail in c£400, with two sureties, each in X200. 
As he swore that he was not worth <£40, the tools of his trade and 
w^earing apparel excepted, he could not give bail, and was re-com- 
mitted. On 2Sth January", 1735, the grand jury having found no 
bill against him, the attorney-general filed an iiiformatiov against 
him, for a false, scandalous, malicious and seditious libel. His 
counsel took exceptions to the commissions of the chief justice and 
Judge Phillipse, because the commission ran during ideasiire, and 
not during good behaviour, and were granted by the governour, 
without the advice and consent of the council. The court, on the 
16th of April, refused to hear or allow the exceptions ; and to punish 
the counsel for making them, they, by order, excluded them from the 
bar, for denying the legality of the commissions of the two judges. 
The court then, on the petition of the printer, appointed John 
Chambers, Esq., his counsel, and he pleaded not guilty to the 
information. The court, on motion, ordered a struck jurij. The 
trial came on in the supreme court, before those two judges, 
(James De Lancey, chief justice, and Frederick Phillipse, puisne 
judge ; R. Bradley, attorney-general.) 

" The printing and publishing were confessed, and Mr. Hamil- 
ton, of Philadelphia, the counsel for the prisoner, in conjunction 
with Mr. Chambers, insisted in his defence, on the truth of the 
facts charged as libellous. The chief justice told the counsel for 
defendant, that he could not be admitted to give the truth of the 
libel in evidence. Mr. Hamilton insisted that the jury were judges 
of both the law and the fact. Verdict, not guilty. 

" The corporation of New York, in common council, thereupon 
presented Avdrew Hamilton, Esq., of Philadelphia, barrister at law, 
with the freedom of the city, in a gold box, ' for his learned and 
generous defence of the rights of mankind and the liberty of the 
press.' " 

The trial of .John Peter Zengcr makes so important a feature in 
the picture of New York in 1734 and 1735, that I will, before 
closing this chapter, dwell at length upon the subject. 

Dr. John W. Francis tells us, in his description of the city of 
New York,* that the late Gouverneur Morris told him that " the trial 
of Zenger, in 1735, was the germ of American freedom — the morn- 
ing star of that liberty which subsequently revolutionized America." 

It throws light upon the state of the province, the feelings of the 

* Printed in the American edition of Dr. Brewster's Encyclopedia, and p. 400, of 
Hinton's History and Topography of the United States of America. 

zenger's trial. 303 

people, their opposition to the mode of government fastened upon 
tham by England, and consequently upon their conduct thirty and 
forty years after. It proves the prevailing opinion entertained of 
Governour Cosby, his council, and his judges; and it exhibits the 
character and talents of Andrew Hamilton, which is passed over 
slightly by William Smith, the son of one of the silenced lawyers.* 

I have given the brief and luminous note of Mr. Kent; but as 
the trial, published at the time, by Zenger, and republished in Lan- 
caster by W. Dunlap, in 17-56, is scarce, and the state trials rarely 
consulted, I will, for the above reasons, make extracts from it, and 
endeavour by comment, to elucidate it. 

The words charged to be a false, scandalous, malicious, and 
seditious libel, are these ; " Your appearance in print at last, gives 
a pleasure to many, though most wish you had come fairly into 
the open field, and not appeared behind retrenchments made of the 
supposed laws against libelling : these retrenchments, gendemen, 
may soon be shewn to you and all men to be very weak, and to 
have neither law nor reason for their foundation, so cannot long 
stand you in stead : therefore, you had much better as yet leave 
them, and come to what the people of this city and province think 
are the points in question. They think as matters now stand, that 
their liberties and properties are precarious, and that slavery is like 
to be entailed on them and their posterity, if some past things be 
not amended, and this they collect from many past proceedings." 
"One of our neighbours of New Jersey being in company, observ- 
ing the strangers of New York full of complaints, endeavoured to 
persuade them to remove into Jersey ; to which it was replied, 
that would be leaping out of the frying-pan into the fire ; for, says 
he, we both are under the same governour, and your assembly have 
shown with a witness, what is to be expected from them ; one that 
was then moving from New York to Pennsylvania, to which place 
it is reported several considerable men are removing, expressed in 
terms very moving, much concern for the circumstances of New 
York, and seemed to think them very much owing to the influence 
that some men had in the administration ; said he was now going 
from them, and was not to be hurt by any measures they should 

* This gentleman was the Andrew Hamilton, whose speech, Proud, the historian 
of Pennsylvania, gives upon the occasion of liis taking leave of the assembly, of 
which he had been the speaker, on account of age and infirmities. This was in 
1739, only five years after his celebrated defence of Zenger. He died in 1741, 
" in the latter end of the summer, " says Proud. — " He had filled several considerable 
stations both in the government of Pennsylvania and the lower counties, with 
honour, integrity, and ability. He was a lawyer of great note, and acquired much 
reputation, particularly in Zenger's famous trial in New York." This celebrated 
barrister was an Englishman, educated and in practice before coming to this coun- 
try, and must not be confounded with the Deputy-governour of Pennsylvania, who 
died in 1703 or 4. — See Historical Review, published in London, 1769. 

304 zenger's trial. 

take ; but could not help having some concern for the welfare of 
his countrymen, and should be glad to hear that the assembly 
would exert themselves as become them, by shewing that they have 
the interest of their country more at heart, than the gratification of 
any private view of any of their members ; or being at all affected 
by the smiles or frowns of a governour ; both which ought equally 
to be despised, when the interest of their country is at stake. You, 
says he, complain of the lawyers, but I think the law itself is at an 
end. We see men's deeds destroyed, judges arbitrarily displaced, 
new courts erected without consent of the legislature, by which it 
seems to me, trials by juries are taken away when a governour 
pleases ; men of known estates denied their votes, contrary to the 
received practice of the best expositor of any law^ Who is then 
in that province that can call any thing his own, or enjoy any liberty 
longer than those in the administration will condescend to let them 
do it, for which reason I left it, as I believe more will." 

We have seen, that the grand jury would not find a bill against 
the printer, and that his adversaries proceeded by the infamous mode 
of information. When the trial came on, Mr. Hamilton avowed 
the printing and publishing as being the truth. 

Even the names of the struck jury possess interest at this day : 
Harmanus Rutgers, Stanly Holmes, Edward Mann, John Bell, 
Samuel Weaver, Andries Marchalk, Egbert Van Borson, Thomas 
Hunt — foreman, Benjamin Hildreth, Abraham Keteltas, John 
Goelet, Hercules Wendover. 

Hamilton confessed the printing and publishing. Bradley ob- 
served that " the jury micst find a verdict for the king." " Not so, 
Mr. Attorney," said Hamilton, " there are two words to that bar- 
gain : I hope it is not our bare printing and publishing a paper 
that will make it a libel : you will have something more to do, 
before you make my client a libeller ; for the words themselves 
must be libellous, that is, false, scandalous and seditious, or else 
we are not guilty." Bradley gave the usual definition of a libel : 
he asserted, " that whether the person defamed is a private man or 
magistrate, whether living or dead, whether the libel is true or false, 
or if the party against whom it is made is of good or evil fame, it is 
nevertheless a libel : for in a settled state of government, the party 
grieved, ought to complain for every injury done him, in the ordi- 
nary course of the law And as to its publication, the law had 
taken so great care of men's reputations, that if one maliciously 
repeats it, or sings it, in the presence of another, or delivers the 
libel or a copy of it over, to scandalize the party, he is to be pun- 
ished as a publisher of a libel. He said, it was likewise evident, 
that libelling was an offence against the law of God : Acts xxiii, 5. 
Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest; 
for it is written, thou shall not speak evil of the ruler of the people. 

zenger's trial. 305 

2 Pet. X, 11. — Despise government, presumptuous are they, self- 
willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities, tfcc. He then 
insisted that it was clear, bo:h by the law of God and man : that it 
was a very great offence to speak evil of, or to revile those in 
authority over us ; and that Mr. Zenger had offended in a most noto- 
rious and gross manner, in scandalizing his excellency, our gover- 
nour, who is the king's immediate representative, and the supreme 
magistrate of this province. Mr. Chambers, who had been 
appointed by the court to defend Zenger, after Smith and Alexan- 
der were silenced, addressed the jury ; and then Hamilton followed. 
He insisted, that the just complaint of a number of men suffering" 
under the bad administration of a government, was no libel. He 
said, that Bradley, by reading and expounding the infunnntion, 
had shown that the prosecution had been directed by the gover- 
nour and council ; and by the appearance of the crowded court, 
it was apparent that people think there is a great deal more at stake 
than appears on the surface of this business ; and, therefore, he 
should be both plain and particular in what he had to say. He 
pointed out, that the authorities Bradley had cited, were from that 
terrible and long exploded court, the star-chamber. " Is it not 
surprising," he said, " to see a subject, upon his receiving a com- 
mission from the king to be a governour of a colony in America, 
immediately imagining himself to be invested with all the preroga- 
tives belonging to the sacred person of his prince ^ And which is 
yet more astonishing, to see that a people can be so wild as to allow 
of and acknowledge those prerogatives and exemptions, even to 
their own destruction ^ Is it so hard a matter to distinguish between 
the majesty of our sovereign, and the power of a governour of the 
plantations V He showed the folly of such supposition. He in- 
sisted on the rights of a freeholder in New York being as great as 
those of a freeholder in England. 

Bradley, the attorney-general, interrupted the barrister, and 
insisted that the confession of publication, was a confession that Zen- 
ger was guilty of what was charged in the inform.atiori, as scanda- 
lous and leading to sedition. 

Hamilton observed, that Mr. Attorney now omitted the word 
false. " We are charged," he said, "with printing and publishing 
a certain false, malicious, seditious and scandalous libel. This 
word j^/^5e, must have some meaning, or else how came it there ^ 
I hope JNIr. Attorney will not say, he put it there by chance, and I 
am of opinion his information would not be good without it. But 
to show that it is the principal thing which, in my opinion, makes 
a libel, I put the case, if the information had been for printing and 
publishing a certain true libel, would that be the same thing .'' Or 
tould Mr. Attorney support such an information by any precedent 
in the Engli&h law r No ; the falsehood makes the scandal, and 

VOL. I. 39 

306 zenger's trial. 

both make the Ubel. And to show the court that I am in good 
earnest, and to save the court's time and Mr. Attorney's trouble, I 
will agree, that if he can prove the facts charged upon us to be false, 
I will own them to be scandalous, seditious, and a libel. So the 
work seems now to be pretty much shortened, and Mr. Attorney 
has now only to prove the words Jldse, in order to make us guilty." 
He then offered to save Mr. Attorney the trouble of proving the 
papers to be false, and would prove them to be tnie. To this, Mr. 
Chief Justice De Lancey objects. — "You cannot be admitted, Mr. 
Hamilton, to give the truth of a libel in evidence. The law is 
clear, that you cannot justify a libel." 

** Mr.Hamiltmi. — I own that, may it please your honour, lobe so : 
but with submission, I understand the word justify, there to be a 
justification by plea, as it is in the case upon an indictment for mur- 
der, or an assault and battery ; there the prisoner cannot justify, 
but plead not guilty. Yet it will not be denied but he may, and 
always is, admitted to give the truth of the fact, or any other matter 
in evidence, which goes to his acquittal ; as in murder — he may 
prove it was in defence of his life, his house, etc. ; and in assault 
and battery — he may give in evidence, that the other party struck 
first — and in both cases he will be acquitted. And in this sense I 
understand the word justifij, when applied to the case before the 

" Mr. Chief Justice. — I pray show that you can give the truth of 
a libel, in evidence. 

" Mr. Hamilton. — I am ready." After referring to an autho- 
rity in Coke's third Institute, he proceeds. "Now, sir, by this 
judgment, it appears the libellous words were utterly false, and 
there the falsehood was the crime, and is the ground of that judg- 
ment: and is not that what we contend for?. Do not we insist, 
that the falsehood makes the scandal, and both make the libel ? — - 
And how shall it be known whether the words are libellous — that 
is, true or false — but by admitting us to prove them tr/ie?" 

Mr. Hamilton proves it to be both monstrous and ridiculous to 
assert, that truth makes a worse libel than falsehood. He recites 
a case in which Lord Chief Justice Holt asks of the person accused 
as a libeller, "Can you make it appear they are true? Have you 
any witnesses ? You might have had subpoenas for your witnesses 
against this day. If you take upon you to write such things as you 
are charged with, it lies upon you to prove them true, at your peril. 
If you have any witnesses, I will hear them. How came you to 
write those books, which are not true ? If you have any witnesses, 
produce them. If you can offer any matter to prove what you have 
wrote, let us hear it." 

After some consultation, De Lancey said, " Mr. Hamilton, the 
Qourt is of opinion you ought not to be permitted to prove the facts 

zenger's trial. 307 

in the papers:" and the chief justice proceeded, "these are the 
words of the book : ' It is far from being a justification of a libel, 
that the contents thereof are true, or that the person on whom it 
is made, had a bad reputation, since the greater appearance there 
is of truth in any malicious invective, so much the more provoking 
it is.' " 

These cases, Hamilton called star-chamber, and the court 
reproved him, but permitted him to address the jury. 

" Then, gentlemen of the jury, it is to you we must appeal for 
witnesses of the facts." They being summoned out of the neigh- 
bourhood, were the best judges of the truth, and they are to take 
upon them to say, that the papers are false, scandalous and sedi- 

After some further contest with the attorney and court, Hamilton 
said, " I know the jury have a right to determine both the law and 
the fact, and they ought to do so." Leaving to the court to deter- 
mine "whether the words are libellous or not, renders juries use- 
less, or worse." He afterwards said, " But when the ruler of a 
people brings his personal failings, but much more his vices, into 
his administration, and the people find themselves affected by them, 
either in their liberties or properties, that will alter the case mightily, 
and all the high things that are said in favourof rulers and of digni- 
taries, and upon the side of power, will not be able to stop people's 
mouths, when they feel themselves oppressed — I mean in a free 
government. It is true, in times past, it was a crime to speak truth, 
and in that terrible court of star-chamber, many worthy and brave 
men suffered for so doing; and yet even in that court, and in those 
bad times, a great and good man durst say, what I hope will not be 
taken amiss of me to say in this place, to wit : The practice of in- 
formations for libels, is a sword in the hands of a wicked king, and 
an arrant coward, to cut down and destroy the innocent; the one 
cannot, because of his high station, and the other dares not, because 
of his want of courage, revenge himself in another manner." 

"Our constitution," said the barrister, "gives us an opportu- 
nity to prevent wrong, by appealing to the people." " And has it 
not often been seen (and I hope it will always be seen,) that when 
the representatives of a free people are by just representations or 
remonstrances, made sensible of the sufferings of their fellow sub- 
jects, by the abuse of power in the hands of a governour, they have 
declared (and loudly too) that they were not obliged by any law to 
support a governour who goes about to destroy a province or colo- 
ny, or their privileges, which by his majesty he was appointed, and 
by the law he is bound to protect and encourage. But I pray it 
may be considered, of what use is this mighty privilege, if every 
man that suffers must be silent .'' And if a man must be taken up as 
a libeller, for telling his sufferings to his neighbour ? I know it 


may be answered, — have you not a legislature ? Have you not a 
house of representatives, to whom you may complain ? And to 
this I answer, we have : but what then ? Is an assembly to be 
troubled with every injury done by a governour? Or are they to 
hear of nothing but what those in the administration will please to 
tell them ? Or what sort of a trial must a man have ? And how is 
he to be remedied — especially if the case were, as I have known it 
to happen in America in my time — that a governour who has places 
(I will not say pensions, for I believe they seldom give that to ano- 
ther, which they can take to themselves) to bestow, and can or will 
keep the same assembly (after he has modelled them so as to get a 
majority of the house in his interest) for near twice seven years 
together ? I pray what redress is to be expected for an honest 
man, who makes his complaint against a governour to an assembly, 
who may properly enough be said to be made by the same gover- 
nour, against whom the complaint is made r" 

We here see the light in which Cosby's conduct was viewed by 
just men, and the opinion which the wise had of governours, in the 
year 1735. Again : " And when a house of assembly, composed 
of honest freemen, sees the general bent of the people's inclinations, 
that is it which must and will (I am sure it ought so) weigh with a 
legislature, in spite of all the craft, caressing, and cajoling, made 
use of by a governour, to divert them from hearkening to the voice 
of their country. As we all very well understand the true reason 
why gentlemen take so much pains, and make such great interest 
to be appointed governours, so is the design of their appointment 
not less manifest." 

He comes to the conclusion " that the man who was neither good 
nor wise before his being made a governour, never mended upon 
his preferment, but has generally been observed to become worse." 
He alluded to who might wish well to the present prosecution, 
from attachment to the governour, or " from their own or their rela- 
tion's dependence on him." The reader will remember that both 
De Lancey and Phillipse held their seats as judges, during the 
governour's pleasure. As may be supposed, the veteran barrister 
dwelt at great length on topics which are here scarcely noticed ; 
and I consider his address to the jury not only eloquent, but as 
coming from an old man who saw all the vices of colonial govern- 
ment, and represented them pretty much as the people generally 
felt them, forty years afterward. " I think it will be agreed, that ever 
since the time of the star-chamber, where the most arbitrary and 
destructive judgments and opinions were given, that ever an Eng- 
lishman heard of, at least in his own country — I say, prosecutions 
for libelsS since the time of that arbitrary court, and until the glori- 
ous revolution, have generally been set on foot at the instance of 
the crown or its ministers : and it is no small reproach to the law. 

zenger's trial. 309 

that these prosecutions were too often and too much countenanced 
by the judges, who held their places at pleasure, a disagreeable 
tenure to any officer, but a dangerous one in the case of a judge." 

He mentioned the "complaisance of court judges," in the case 
of Sir Edward Hales, who enjoyed the office of colonel in James 
the Second's army, notwithstanding that he was an avowed Roman 
Catholic, (in despite of a statute to the contrary,) because the 
judges, hoi ling their seats at the king's pleasure, declared the 
king's dispensing power above an act of parliament. A portion of 
JMr. Hamilton's argument went to show that juries might with pro- 
priety differ from the court ; he instanced the case of Penn and 
Mead, "who being quakers, and having met in a peaceable manner, 
after being shut out of their meeting-house, preached in Grace- 
church street, in London, to the people of their own persuasion, 
and for this they were indicted ; and it was said, that they with 
other persons, to the number of 300, unlawfully and tumultuously 
assembled, to the disturbance of the peace, etc. : to^ which they 
pleaded not guilty ; and the petit jury were sworn to try the issue 
between the king and the prisoners, that is, whether they were 
guilty, according to the form of the indictment ? Here there was 
no dispute, but they were assembled together to the number men- 
tioned in the indictment : but whether that meeting together was 
riotously, tumultuously, and to the disturbance of the peace.'' was* 
the question ; and the court told the jury it was, and ordered the 
jury to find it so ; for, said the court, the meeting was the matter of 
fact, and that is confessed, and we tell you it is unlawful, for it is 
against the statute; and the meeting being unlawful, it follows of 
course that it was tumultuous, and to the disturbance of the peace. 
But the jury did not think fit to take the court's word for it, for they 
could neither find riot, tumuh, or any thing tending to the breach 
of the peace, committed at that meeting; and they acquitted Mr. 
Penn and Mead : in doing of which, they took upon them to judge 
both the law and the fact." 

The barrister showed, that by inmmido, scripture might be made 
libellous, and with great humour, quoted a passage from Isaiah : 
" His watchmen are all blind, they are ignorant, &c. Yea, they 
are greedy dogs, that can never have enough. But to make them 
a libel, there is, according to Mr. Attorney's doctrine, no more 
wanting but the aid of his skill in the right adapting his innuendoes. 
As, for instance : His watchmen innuendo, the governour's council 
and assembly are blind, they are ignorant, innuendo, will not see 
the dangerous designs of his excellency. Yea, they (the gover- 
nour and council, meaning) are greedy dogs, which can never have 
enough, inmiendo, enough of riches and power." 

He concluded thus : "I am truly very unequal to such an un- 
dertaking, on many accounts ; and you see I labour under the weight 

310 zenger's trial. 

of many years, and am borne down with great infirmities of body ; 
yet old and weak as I am, I should think it my duty, if required, 
to go to the utmost part of the land, where my service could be of 
any use in assisting to quench the flame of prosecutions upon infor- 
mations, set on foot by the government, to deprive a people of the 
right of remonstrating (and complaining too) of the arbitrary attempts 
of men in power. Men who injure and oppress the people under 
their administration, provoke them to cry out and complain, and 
then make that very complaint the foundation for new oppressions 
and prosecutions. I wish I could say there were no instances of 
this kind. But to conclude : the question before the court, and 
you, gentlemen of the jury, is not of small nor private concern ; it 
is not the cause of a poor printer, nor of New York alone, which 
you are now trying: No! It may in its consequences affect every 
freeman that lives under a British government on the Main of Ame- 
rica. It is the best cause — it is the cause of liberty — and I make 
no doubt but your upright conduct this day, will not only entitle 
you to the love and esteem of your fellow-citizens, but every man 
who prefers freedom to a life of slavery, will bless and honour you, 
as men who have baffled the attempt of tyranny, and by an impartial 
and uncorrupt verdict, have laid a noble foundation for securing 
to ourselves, our posterity, and our neighbours, that, to which na- 
ture and the laws of our country have given us a right — the liberty 
— both of exposing and opposing arbitrary power, (in these parts of 
the world, at least,) by speaking and writing truth." 

It has been already said, that the jury pronounced the prisoner 
" not guilty." The people applauded the verdict, and the Corpo- 
ration of New York did themselves honour, by honouring the de- 
fender of the rights of man : I have to record transactions of the 
same body, of a very dissimilar character. 



Colonial histoyij of New York ; ivhy vahiab/e — Cit)/ ; description 
of- — Manners of the times — Lord Augustus Fitzroy ; his receptioUy 
and the consequefices — Death of Governour Cosby, and promulga- 
tion of the suspension of Van Dam — Struggle for power between 
Clarke and Van Dam, terminated by a mandate from England 
— Morris — Disfranchisement of the Jews — Management aiid abi- 
lities of Clarke, 

1732 Had it been possible to arrest the progress of New York, 
in its growth, from a few trading huts for buying peltry from 
savages, to its present state — a great republican empire — to have 
cut short its existence, before that great trial commenced, the issue 
of which proved the folly, and injustice, of depriving Englishmen 
of their rights, because they had removed to a distance from home, 
for the purpose of enjoying those rights uninterruptedly — if our 
history reached no further than that state of dependence, which the 
government and people of England wished to perpetuate, when 
the colonists were prohibited, for the supposed benefit of the 
mother country, from using, for their own good, the materials 
nature had given them, and the ingenuity they brought from home, 
and, in the language of the great Pitt, Lord Chatham, ( a man so 
erroneously considered as the colonist's friend, wdien he advocated 
measures that were intended for England's enrichment, and the 
bond of the province,) in that expressive sentiment uttered by him, 
" that he would prohibit the colonies from manufacturing even a 
hob-nail," — if we rested in that state of childlike dependence, in- 
stead of manufacturing according to our wishes, those things 
which our state of manhood required — if, in short, the history of 
New York had ceased, after recording the disputes of Van Dam 
and Cosby, and the intrigues of their enemies or friends, though 
we might lament that the actions of good men, would be lost to 
posterity ; yet, as leading to no permanent political consequence, 
the history of New York, would have been nearly worthless. But 
as a chain of events characterizing the progress to our present great- 
ness ; every fact that can be rescued from oblivion, and so placed 
on the record, as to show the advancement from the paltry province 
to a mighty sovereign state, becomes of immense importance. It 


is this consideration that has made me dwell with delight, on the 
characters of Peter Stuyvesant, Jacob Leisler, Peter Schuyler, 
Andrew Hamilton, and other patriots, Dutch, American, and Eng- 
lish ; as well as on the virtues of the Hibernian, Richard Coote, 
Earl of Bellamont, and the learned, wise, and benevolent Briton, 
William Burnet ; and assures me, that by showing one continued 
chain of events, however trivial in the commencement, which led 
ultimately and inevitably, to the great results which we now wit- 
ness, I am doing an essential service to my fellow men. 

The origin of Rome, the boasted eternal city, is sought amidst 
fables ; and every absurd legend is cherished as a part of the edu- 
cation of the modern race : liow much more important to the Ame- 
ricans, is the true record, of the origin of this empire : and the 
steps by which the greatness was attained, which he now witnesses. 
With these views, I will here notice the state of the city of New 
York, about the period under consideration. 

The advertisements in the old newspapers give one a more 
decided view of the manners of this time, than any intentional essay 
could do. I likewise gain some knowledge of the state of the city 
at that period ; for example, in Zenger's Weekly Journal, dated 
Monday, July the 29th, 1734, I find, " to be sold, 6 lots of land, 
on the west side of the Swamp or Criplebush, three of them fronts 
the row that leads from Spring Garden to the Fresh Water, the 
other three, the street next to the Swamp ; there is three good 
houses on them, one in the possession of Mrs. Scott. Enquire of 
Anna Ten Eyck, nsar Coenties market." This I copy literally. 
I have before remarked, that the houses were not numbered, and 
the streets were not at all times called by the same name ; in this 
instance we have ii " street and a row," without names. It will be 
amusing to discover the situation of these advertised lots, and mark 
their present state. There were, as may be seen by the map of 
1729, two swamps in ihe city : the swamp well remembered by me, 
as such liar excdlevcc, is in the map, called Beekman's Swamp, 
lying in Montgomerie's Ward, and is the mostsoutherlyof the two: 
now it is occupied by Ferry street, Frankfort street, Vandewater 
street, etc. To the east of this, is a more extensive swamp and 
meadow, which I suppose to be that called in the advertisement 
Criplf'bush : now occupied by Oliver, James, Catherine, Roosevelt, 
Oak, and other streets, and lying between Cherry and Pearl streets. 
The Fresh Water, or Kolk, or Collect, is a part of Centre street, 
the Halls of Justice, the Five Points, etc. Chatham street was 
at this time (1734) the high road to Boston ; and the part of pre- 
sent Pearl Street, from Cherry street to Chatham, (or the Boston 
road,) was nameless. Now we must look for Mrs. Anna Ten 
Eyck's six lots, and four houses, east of Pearl street, (before des- 
cending to the Swamp or Criplebush,) perhaps in the neighbourhood 


of Madison street. Spring Garden, (probably a place of rural 
recreation for the citizens,) was between Beekman's Swamp, and 
the Criplebush ; or on Pearl street, as now occupied and called, 
between the junction of Cherry, Pearl, and Chatham streets. 

To return to our history. Colonel Cosby was one of those 
military gendemen, who looked to their connexions with the nobi- 
lity at home, for preferment abroad. His brother, IMajor Co;by, 
was of the same class, and had been lieutenant-governour of Anna- 
polis, but finding the colonel had the power in iNew York, to give 
him preferment, (or for reasons unknown to me,) came hither, and 
thus the common council of our city speak on the occasion. " This 
corporation being very desirous upon all occasions, to demonstrate 
the great deference they have, and justly entertain for his excel- 
lency, William Cosby, captain general, etc., and for his noble 
family, order, that the honourable Major Alexander Cosby, bro- 
ther to his excellency, and lieutenant-governour of his majesty's 
garrison of Annapolis Royal, and Thomas Freeman, the governour's 
son-in-law, be presented with the freedom of the city, in silver 
boxes." In consequence of this resolve, three days after, the cor- 
poration waited on the above, and took occasion to compliment 
the governour most outrageously^ and likewise his lately married 
daughter, Miss Grace Cosby, and her wedded lord, Thomas Free- 
man. But to show the spirit of the times, and the provincial feel- 
ing of our city dignitaries, I must relate the manner in which a 
lord was received into the city and fort. The consequences were 
not worthy of the occasion. 

In October, of the year 1732, arrived a young man, the son of 
a duke, and himself entitled my lord. He was received as a visi- 
ter by the noble family in the fort, and I find it recorded, that on 
the 20th, " the corporation being informed that the right honour- 
able lord Augustus Fitzroy, son of his grace the Duke of Grafton, 
lord chamberlain of his majesty's household, etc., arrived in this 
city to pay a visit to his lady and family," therefore the aforesaid 
corporation resolve, to wait upon his lordship in a full body, 
and besides congratulating him upon his safe arrival, to present him 
with the freedom of the city in a gold box. 

This important resolution was carried into effect on the 23d ; 
and the largest article of intelligence to be found in the journals of 
this year, is, that the mayor, recorder, aldermen, assistants, and 
other officers of the city, " being informed the Lord Augustus 
Fitzroy, son of his grace, Charles Duke of Grafton, was arrived 
at Fort George, on a visit to his excellency, our governour, waited 
upon the lord, in a full body, and the recorder addressed his lord- 
ship, in a speech of congratulation, returning him thanks for tl-ie 
honour of his presence, and presented the freedom of the city in 
a gold box." I find by another record, that the common souncil 

VOL. I. 40 


paid for the said box, ^14 8s. ; and that for one quarter's salary to 
the pubHc schoolmaster, they paid <£10. 

A few hnes more, and I will dismiss this subject. The Lord 
Augustus Fitzroy was a youth, and Mrs. Cosby had another daugh- 
ter (besides that Miss Grace, who was congratulated by the cor- 
poration on her marriage with Mr. Freeman,) whose rank and for- 
tune were to be advanced by a marriage with ray lord : as this 
must appear as if done without the consent of the governour, a 
clergyman was introduced over the ramparts of the fort, and the 
ceremony performed without license. 

If all this appears to be below the dignity of history, it must 
be remembered, that it is only by such details, that we can esti- 
mate the state of society in any given place, at a given time ; or 
form a true notion of the persons sent by England to rule a 
province in 1732. 

When Governour Cosby died in New York, his wife returned 

to England, expecting to enjoy the honour secured by the marriage 

of her daughter to a lord ; but it is said, the great family frowned 

upon the intrusion, and the lady, like many other match-makers, 

only reaped shame and disappointment. 

1735 The triumph of the people over the governour and his 
adherents, by the result of Zenger's trial, was not lost upon 

the leaders of the democracy. Objections were again raised to the 
exercise of the office of chancellor, by the governour. The citi- 
zens by petition represented the long sitting of the assembly, mo- 
delled to the governour's views, as a grievance. They attacked 
the existence of the court of chancery, without the consent of the 

1736 On the 10th of March, 1736, Governour Cosby died. It 
may have been observed, that during the persecution of 

Zenger, by the governour and council, Mr. Van Dam absented 
himself from the meetings of the second member of the "govern- 
ment. He was an oppositionist, and although the oldest counsel- 
lor, took no part in the governour's measures. On the death of 
Cosby, the people looked to him as the temporary successor in the 

The interference of Cosby in the grants by which property was 
held — his project for a re-survey of the old patents — in all which 
the people only saw designs for enriching himself — had rendered 
him extremely odious, and the accession of Van Dam to the rule, 
was hailed with joy and triumph. But this exultation was checked, 
by a report that Van Dam had been suspended by the governour, 
on the 24th of the previous November, although such act had not 
been made public. 

The disappointment was aggravated, by learning that the repre- 


sentations of Mr. Morris, (who was gone to England for the pur- 
pose of removing Cosby,) had been deemed insnfiicient. 

The council consisting of Clarke, Alexander, Van Home, Ken- 
nedy, Do Lancey, Cortlandt, Lane, and Horsemanden, met, and 
recognizing the suspension of Van Dam, administered the oaths to 
Mr. Clarke, and issued a proclamation accordingly. 

The proclamation was called the unanimous deed of the council, 
akhough Alexander protested against it. It is evident, that he must 
have been in the opposition during all the struggle, and in a very 
small minority — standing alone, as Van Dam had not ajjpeared for 
some time. 

Posterity has been inclined to judge Cosby more favourably 
than did Smith, the historian of the time, whose extreme pardality 
to his father, may have misled him : yet, when we consider the 
secret suspension of Van Dam, ( whom as governour, he had a 
right to remove,) left to take effect at his death — after he had escaped 
from the effect of the suspension upon the people, which he knew 
would draw reproach and bitter enmity upon him ; it must appear, as 
it was, a dastardly deed of policy — the arrow, like that of the Par- 
thian, was sped while shunning the victim, and only intended to 
take effect when the archer had escaped from the dangers of the 

Van Dam, knowing his strength with the people, disputed the 
validity of thh jf'^st mortem suspension ; and Clarke, supported by 
the creatures of the late governour, and the party united with them, 
immediately commenced to officiate as president of the council. 
Van Dam demanded the seals. Clarke appealed to the king. 
Van Dam claimed the go\'ernment as oldest counsellor, and de- 
clared the suspension invalid, as being the act of an insane man, 
delirious at the time with the disease which caused his death. 
This contradicts the assertion of Smith, that the suspension had 
existed in private from November to March, and exhibits Cosby 
as gratifying his enmity on his death bed. 

The 14th of October, being the day for appointing officers, each 
rival exercised that extraordinary ftuiction of the presiding office. 
Parties raged, and violence was threatened; but a mandate arrived 
from England in favour of the aristocracy. George Clarke was 
declared the legal occupant of the colonial throne, and shortly 
afterwards appointed lieutenant-governour.* Previous to attaining 
this mark of ministerial favour, Clarke, on the 14th of October, met 
the assembly, and declared his first speech, in which he reminded 
them of their promises respecting the revenue made to Cosby, 

• The reader is referred to the abstract of the minutes, of the common council, 
under the head of miscellaneous matters, for traces of this dispute. 


touched on his intention to encourage ship building, strengthen the 
fortifications, and gain the good will of the Iroquois, by settling 
blacksmiths among them. He likewise introduced the practice 
of the governour's absenting himself from the council, when that 
body sat as part of the legislature. 

The new lieutenant-governour was born in England, and had 
been sent out by a friend, to mend his fortune in New York. He 
came to this country during the reign of Anne, and had sagacity 
enough to see that the aristocracy possessed the offices of profit, 
and were supporters of the authority derived from England. Clarke 
sided with the governours, and they rewarded his services, until as we 
see, he stood the oldest member of the council, if Van Dam could be 
suspended, and at the same time his friends in England, were power- 
ful enough to procure his nomination for lieutenant-governour 
upon Cosby's decease. He now had the game in his own hands, 
and in a short time could retire home with a governour's, if not a 
princely fortune. 

Morris who had failed in his attempt to overthrow Cosby, ma- 
naged to secure the government of New Jersey for himself; and 
seeing that the party who had supported Cosby, and now went 
with Clarke, were too strong for the democracy in the legislature 
of New York, he abandoned his seat (for he was at the same time 
a representative in one province and governour of another,) as an 
assembly man, and retired to the chair of state, beyond the Hudson. 

Property was at this time considered as sufficient qualification 
for vote or office, without residence ; and Mr. Morris was a great 
proprietor in both New York and New Jersey. He, his son Lewis, 
and his son-in-law Ashfield, had all rendered themselves obnox- 
ious to the aristocratick party, by supporting Van Dam, and equal- 
ly popular with the party who were defeated by Clarke's appoint- 
ment in England. 

While Morris was chief justice of New Jersey, he was regularly 
returned as a member of the assembly in New York, and the 
rule, which a more enlightened age has established, that resi- 
dence is necessary to a qualification as a voter or candidate, 
was considered absurd, and is so represented by Chief Justice 
William Smith, the historian of New York, although it was even 
in 1736, uplield by his fathers' coadjutor, James Alexander. 

Clarke, who is allowed by Smith to have been a man of genius, 
exerted himself to gain friends among the people, and at the same 
time to retain the opposite party. His management was sufficient 
for both : but he had to fear the appointment of a governour-in- 
chief, w.ho would wrest the glorious opportunity for accumulating 
wealth from him. His letters to England, were such as to dis- 
courage candidates for the office, and while they hesitated, he 
employed the time to advantage. The length of time Mr. Clarke 

clarkk's administration. 317 

had been in the province, and his acknowledged talents, enabled 
him to manage the jndges, (men thoroughly known to him, and 
who held their offices at his pleasure,) the council — men within his 
power — and even the more unmanageable house of assembly, 
for his purposes. Smith and Alexander were restored to the 

1737 The house met in the summer of 1737. James Alex- 

ander represented the City of New York. Lewis Morris, 
the son of the Governour of New Jersey, was chosen speaker. 
The democratick or party of the people, prevailed in this branch of 
the legislature. Their address, in reply to Clarke's very concilia- 
tory speech, was bold, and uncompromising. They impute the 
deficiency of the revenue to prodigality ; impeach their predeces- 
sors in granting permanent funds, and tax the receivers with ingra- 
titude ; roundly assure him that they mean to discontinue that prac- 
tice ; "for," to use their own words, "you are not to expect that 
we either will raise sums unfit to be raised, or put what we shall 
raise into the power of a governour to misapply, if we can prevent 
it ; nor shall we make up any other deficiencies than what we con- 
ceive are fit and just to be paid, or continue what support or reve- 
nue we shall raise, for any longer time than one year; nor do we 
think it convenient to do even that, until such laws are passed as 
we conceive necessary for the safety of the inhabitants of this colo- 
ny, who have reposed a trust in us, for that only purpose, and which 
we are sure you will think it reasonable we should act agreeably 
to : and by the grace of God, we will endeavour not to deceive 

Notwithstanding this, the lieutenant-governour was able to pass 
through a long session, from August to December, much to his 
mind. Many popular bills were passed : as to such as were rejected, 
the people placed the odium on the council, rather than to the 
opposition of the lieutenant-governour. The militia was remo- 
delled; the practice of the law amended ; triennial elections or- 
dained ; the importation of base copper money restrained ; courts 
for the summary decision of petty suits established ; a mathematical 
and grammar school encouraged; interest reduced from eight to 
seven per cent. ; the fort at Oswego supported ; the Indian trade 
promoted; paper money emitted for paying the provincial debt; a 
loan-office erected, and a precedent established of an annual pro- 
vision by the legislature for the government.* 

Clarke is said to have destroyed the popularity of many leaders 
of the democratick party, by inducing them to accept offers of 
offices, which he never intended to bestow. 

* See Gordon's Gazetteer of New York. 


1738 Chief Justice Smith, in his history, attributes the disfran- 
chisement of the Jews to his father's eloquence, and sup- 
poses the orator sincere. We have ah-eady noticed that this histo- 
rian, an eminent lawyer in times long subsequent to those of which 
we treated, censures his father's coadjutor in Zenger's affair — Mr. 
Alexander — for entertaining an opinion that residence was necessary 
in a candidate for office. The Chief Justice of Canada upholds 
the contrary doctrine, which was received and acted upon in 1738 
and afterward, and by which a man holding property in Albany 
was qualified to represent Westchester, or any other portion of the 
province, of which he knew nothing. We find in the case of the 
disfranchisement of the Jews, that the same historian praises his 
father's eloquence, when he persuaded the hoiise of representatives 
to reject the votes of the Israelites, because their fathers, seventeen 
hundred years past, had demanded the death of one condemned by 
their rulers. What must we, at this day, think of either the orator 
or his audience, who by their decision, sanctioned such monstrous 
injustice f In a contested election, Mr. Smith is praised by his 
son, the historian, for asserting that the Jews of New York, though 
freeholders, were not entitled to vote for the candidate to whom he 
was opposed. Such were the opinions of men long after 1738. 

I must not omit to mention, that Mr, Clarke visited Albany, and 
endeavoured to prevail upon the Iroquois to reject the offers of the 
French for the Valley of Irondequoit, where a settlement was pro- 
jected by the Canadians, much to the injury of Oswego. He not 
only wished to defeat the designs of the French, by his negotiations 
with the Indians, but to establish a colony at Irondequoit for the 
support of the garrison of Oswego : here is a bay formed by an inlet 
of Lake Ontario, and the soil (now lying between the present Pen- 
field and Brighton,) is rich and fertile. The governour was, how- 
ever, unable to accomplish his purpose. Another of Lieutenant- 
governour Clarke's schemes, was to induce a body of Highlanders 
to emijrrate to New York, and setde them as a frontier e:uard 
against the encroachments of the French, by the way of Lake 
Champlain ; for they, by building a fort at Crown Point, com- 
manded that lake, and contemplated advancing to w'hat has since 
been called Skenesborough, and is now Whitehall, and by that 
means to seize the entrance of Wood Creek. Clarke intended 
granting to the Scotch emigrants, lands on Wood Creek, and thus 
throwing them as an avant-guard to impede the French. But 
Chief Justice Smith asserts, that avarice induced the governour to 
speculate in this as in other affairs of government. 

One of the most atrocious acts of the government of New York, 
under Mr. George Clarke's administration, according to the state- 
ment of William Smith, the historian, was the inducing Laughlin 
Campbell to sell his estate in Scotland, and with the produce bring 

Clarke's administration. 519 

out eighty-three families of Highlanders, to settle upon the wild 
lands of the north, induced by a promise of Mr. Clarke to grant 
30,000 acres to Captain Campbell, for the purposes of cultivation, 
and as his own property, he becoming lord of this manor. The 
fact of Campbell being induced by die promise of the government 
to enter into this speculation, although asserted by Smith, and 
re-asserted by all who have followed him, is positively denied by 
Cadwallader Colden, then one of the council, and for many years 
subsequently, governour of the province. 

That Campbell came to this country, (and visited the lands 
about Wood Creek, so memorable in our history, and which falls 
into Lake Champlain) is certain ; and that, pleased with the soil 
and the prospect of becoming a great proprietor, he returned home 
and brought out with him 423 adults with their children, in the 
hope to settle them on our frontier ; but INIr. Colden denies that he 
did this upon a promise of Governour Clarke to grant him 30,000 
acres, or to make any agreement with him for more land than he 
could bring under cultivation ; and he says, positively, that Cap- 
tain Campbell's application to the government for 30,000 acres, 
was the first intimation the government had of his pretensions. Mr. 
Colden further says, that the greater number of the people who 
came out with Campbell, emigrated at their own expense, and with 
a view to becoming proprietors ; only a part, and that the lesser 
portion, being brought out by the Highland chieftain, at his cost, 
and to become tenants to him.* 

* For the whole of Governour Colden's letter, I refer the reader to the Appendix, 



Madness of the peoiile of New York, in what is colled the Negro 
Plot — Horsemandeji — Hughsonandjamily — P^ggy Gary — Kaiie 
-^Price — John Ury — Executions — Trial of Ury, and his ex- 
cutioTi — Reward of Mary Burton. 

1742 Negro slavery, the curse of a portion of the United States 
of America, is a subject that cannot be passed over in 
silence, by any historian of New York ; particularly when we 
reflect that its abolition has been one, and not the least efficient of 
the causes of the jjrosperity and greatness of the empire state. 
The first evidence of its existence within the territorial bounds, 
to which I limit myself, is on the first page of the Dutch Records, 
of 1638, as translated by Adrian Vander Kemp, and deposited 
in the secretary of state's office, being an agreement between Wil- 
liam Kieft, director-general of New Netherland, and John Damen, 
for the lease of two lots of land, "the largest" it recites " dius far, 
has been cultivated by blacks." The date of this agreement, is 
the 19th of April, 1G3S. 

In 1517, under the Emperour Charles V, commenced the prac- 
tice of transporting Africans as slaves to America. We know in 
1562, Sir John Hawkins, with the aid of Sir Lionel Duchet, Sir 
Thomas Lodge, and Sir William Winter, fixed the stigma upon 
England, of introducing the slave trade, as a branch of commerce at 
this early period, among the inhabitants of that trading country. 

This trade in the blood, lives, and liberties, of human beings, 
was then, and has since been excused, and attempted to be jusdfied, 
by stating that the negroes were benefitted by being kidnapped, 
chained, confined in floating prisons, of the most loathsome des- 
cription, murdered if resisting, subjected to disease and death, to the 
cool mercantile calculation of the number per hundred to be thrown 
overboard, and to endless labour and stripes, on their arrival in 
America, inasmuch as the survivors, were transported to a land 
where they would become civilized, and taught the lessons of 

Such arguments reconciled princes, and nations, to this most in- 
human of all the practices which have disgraced civilized man. 
Such was the theory. In practice the negro was treated as a brute, 
and by law, prohibited from being taught either in a school, or the 


"hurch. But this practice is confined to those countries, where 
)lantations are worked by ijangs of slaves. Among the Dutch of 
Vew Netherland, and New York, slavery had generally a milder as- 
)ect. The number of slaves was comparatively small. The mas- 
ter and his children, if agriculturists, shared the labour of the farm, 
and in the towns domestick slavery was deprived of inany of its 
odious features in the the early days of the colony of New Nether"-^ 
land, and again at a later period ; but in 1741, the accumulation of 
slaves, and the fear from various causes, of their attempting to free 
hemselves, had caused their condition in New York, to be worse 
ban at the earlier or later periods 

But these are general characteristicks attached to the practice 
of slave holding which have their influence, more or less, at all 
times. It has been observed, that in some languages, the same 
word expresses slave and thief. When the slave is not a, thief, he 
or she, must be an exception to a general rule. Habituated to ex- 
perience injustice, debarred from instruction, deprived of the 
opportunity to accumulate property and the right to possess it, 
there is a propensity to appropriate the goods of the master, which 
is only restrained by fear of punishment.* 

* Ten years before this pet-iod, (in which we, on the subject of slavery, were 
involved in total darknrss,) in which, men hujfging themselves in the notion of per- 
fect guiltlessness, while accuniulating property by buying and selling their fellow- 
men, or seizing and wresting them from their homes ; in which, men fattening in 
idleness ilpon the compelled labour of Others, could think they were without sin: 
even then, Anthony Benezet had settled in Philadelphia, and become a quaker. — 
This good man was bOrn in England, though of French protestant descent, irt 1713 1 
and we may probably date the enlightenment of his mind on the subject of slavery, 
from the day he was converted to quakerism. He published several books on the 
eubject — the first of which, wa? in 1762, whei'ein he exptJsed the iniquity of the 
African slave trade. In 1767, he published his " Caution to Great Britain" respect- 
ing the slavery in her dominions. He died somewhere about the termination of 
our revolutionary war ; and it is said that an American otficer, on vieVving his 
funeral, exclaimed, " I had rather be Benezet in his shroud, than Washington in his 
glory !" 

I must record, as a prominent feature in the picture of New York, an event only 
paralleled by the nladnciis occasioned by {lanlck in England, during 1679-S0,whert 
Titus Gates was so prominent an actor in scenes, that On a smaller stage have, in 
many of the circumstances and features, a striking resemblance. In New York, the 
dread of popery, which had produced the efforts of Leisler m 1601, was in 1741 
capable of violent etlects, and was combined with the natural fear suggested by 
having in every house persons held as slaves, and suspected of being enernies. 
The negro slave was supposed to be a fit instrument for the Romish priest to wield, 
in the destruction of the protestant master; and the desire of the papist, especially 
the clergymen of the faith of Rome, to substitute his religion for the protestant, 
could not be doubted. The celibacy of the clergy of the Church of Rome, one of 
the boldest as well as most efficacious devices, was conceived for the formation of 
a body distinct from society, was justly dreaded by every thinking man, and caused 
a chimerical dread at times in the unthinking. The fear of popery alone, drove 
England mad, in 1679 ; but in New York, it was combined with the dread of ven- 
geance to be taken by the victims of the pernicious system of negro slavery. The 
Englishman imagined priests and Jesuits, but saw none : the inhabitant of New 
York could not turn his eyes in any direction, without seeing a black far*^, and 
^'very black^vas a slave. 

VOL 1. 41 


That guilt which the state of slavery engenders, is chargeable to 
the master of the slave. To possess unhmitted power over a 
human being, makes the possessor a tyrant, he is corrupted by its 
influence, while the subject of his power is debased. The tyrant 
may be merciful and kind, and the slave may be gratefid. It has 
been so in empires and in families : but when so, it is from causes 
adverse to tyranny and slavery ; their influence is ever the same. 

The slave only works from the fear of punishment, and neglects 
his labour as much as possible. When he refrains from exertion, 
he only resumes a portion of that which has been forced from 
him. Every traveller who passes from a state where labour is per- 
formed by freemen, for their own profit, into a state where it is 
performed by slaves, will at once be struck by the contrast on the 
face of every thing produced by labour. Another evil is, that em- 
ploying slaves to work, makes labour disreputable. The white 
man prides himself upon his idleness. The history of New York, 
in 1741, elucidates all this. 

Panick in its most common form, is known to seize bodies of mi- 
litary men, and even whole armies ; who, losing all self-possession, 
and dreading they know not what, fly from a supposed enemy, and 
rush upon certain destruction. But we have records, of panick 
and consequently, the most atrocious acts of cruelty and injustice, 
suffered and inflicted by whole communities, and even nations. 
Such an event and its consequences, I have to recite ; and the po- 
pish plot of 1679, in the reign of Charles II, when the whole of the 
people of England, v/ere panick struck, is the best parallel I know 
of the negro plot of New York, in 1741. 

" Each breath of rumour," says David Hume, " made the peo- 
ple start with anxiety : their enemies they thought, were in their 
bosom. While in this timorous jealous disposition, the cry of iiJot 
all on a sudden struck their ears ; they were wakened from their 
slumber ; and like men affrighted, and in the dark, took every 
figure for a spectre. The terror of each man became a source of 
terror to another. And an universal panick, being diffused, reason 
and argument, and common sense, and common humanity, lost all 
influence over them." 

Would not one think that the historian of England, was describ- 
ing the state of the province of New York, at the time under con- 
sideration ? He continues " from this disposition of men's minds, 
we are to account for the progress of ihe popish j'lof, and the credit 
given to it; an event which would otherwise appear prodigious, 
and altogether inexplicable." For popish read negro plot, and the 
description is that of New York, in 1741. 

But Hume says, the people of England thought their enemies 
were in their bosom. The people of New York knew that every 
house was filled with those who had been injured by being de- 


prived of their liberty — by being prohibited the common rights of 
humanity. Every black was a slave, and slaves could not be wit- 
nesses against a free man ; they were incapable of buying any, the 
minutest necessary of life; they were punishable by master or mis- 
tress to any extent short of "life or limb;" as often as three of 
them were found together, they were punishable with forty lashes 
on the bare back ; and the same legal liability attended the walking 
with a club out of the master's ground, without a permit ; two jus- 
tices might inflict any punishment short of death or amputation, for 
a blow or the smallest assault upon a Christian or Jew. The mark 
which told that they were slaves, likewise denoted that they were 
without the pale of Christianity or Judaism — this mark was a black 
skin, and generally supposed to distinguish them as "the seed of 
Cain." This injured race were seen in every dwelling; and when 
the cry of negro-plot was raised, conscience made cowards of all. 
And what deprives of reason so entirely, Sisjcor? 

Here we see the effects of that blind and wicked poHcy which 
induced England to pamper her merchants and increase her reve- 
nues, by positive instructions to the governours of her colonies, 
strictly enjoining diem (for the good of the African company, and 
for the emoluments expected from the assiento contract,) to fix 
upon America a vast negro population, torn from their homes and 
brought hither by force. New York was at this lime filled with 
negroes ; every householder who could afford to keep servants, 
was surrounded by blacks, some pampered in indolence, all care- 
fully kept in ignorance, and considered, erroneously, as creatures 
whom the white could not do without, yet lived in dread of. They 
were feared, from their numbers, and from a consciousness, how- 
ever stifled, that diey were injured and might seek revenge or a 
better condition.* 

The wiser colonists foresaw increasing evil, and witnessed de- 
ploringly, present degradation, mingled with hateful injustice and 
cruelty. In vain they remonstrated with England, for casting that 
stain upon the colonies which the British writers, now that we are 
a free country, reproach us with. 

Let the reader recur to the many instances in which slavery was 
forced upon this country by England ; particularly the instructions 
to Lord Cornbury ; and he will pity die fears, blindness, and guilt 

* Born bnt twenty-three years after the cessation of this madness, the writer well 
remembers the state of negro slavery in the town of his residence, in 177.5. Every 
person who had a servant, male or female, saw in that servant, a slave. There was 
one exception : one old man (blessed be his memory,) was served in his solitary. 
though well supplied dwelling, by whites, free as himself. His name was Thomaa 
Barton. But slavery had by this time, become ameliorated in this region. 

22i PAXICK. 

which must be attributed to the people of New York, in detalUng 
the horrors of what is called the negro plot. 

Daniel Horsemanden, the historian of what he was an actor in, 
was, as the reader will perhaps remember, the recorder of the city 
of New York, at the time the common council compUmented Andrew 
Hamilton with the freedom of the city for his exertions in the cause 
of the rights of man. The recorder was an officer appointed by the 
crown, (or by the governour,) as was the mayor. Mr. Horseman- 
den was subsequently advanced to the council board, and during 
the events he records, was the third judge of the supreme court. 
When he published his book, he endeavoured to justify the decrees 
of the magistracy, (he being one,) by which the negroes were de- 
clared guilty of combining to burn the town and murder all the 
whites. No better evidence of the falsehood of the charge than 
his own statement, can be wanted. 

The reader who will examine the story told by Titus Gates, in 
the time of the popish plot of 1679, and the testimony given by 
Bed low, at that time of national panick and wonderful delusion, will 
see a most curious similarity to the tales told by the principal wit- 
ness respecting the negro plot. The stories told by Gates grew, 
like those of Mary Burton, in proportion as they appeared to be 
wished for by the listeners or the magistrates ; and Bedlow joined 
in the cry precisely as the followers of the first witness (the indented 
servant girl, Mary,) did at this time, in New York. Gther paral- 
lels will be seen by the reader, on examining Hume or other Eng- 
lish historians. The reader likewise will observe, that although 
the first representative assembly of New York, in 16S3, had said, 
"no person professing faith in God by Jesus Christ, shall at any 
time be in any ways disquieted, or questioned, for any difference 
of opinion," yet John Dry was hung during this panick, upon the 
charge of being a Roman Catholick. But the tolerance granted and 
enacted by the assembly of 1683, was not confirmed by England, 
and they were murdered, as well as the negroes, under pretence of 
law. Butwe will begin the story told by Mr. Horsemanden. 

Gn the 2Sth of February, 1741,* a robbery was committed at 
the house of Mr. Robert Hogg, merchant: pieces of linen and 
other goods, several silver coins, some medals, and some \^Tou"■ht 
silver, were taken off. Hogg's house fronted on Broad street, and 
had a side door in Jew's alley, sometimes called Mill street ; of 
course, it was the corner of Broad street and Jew's alley. Suspi- 
cions were entertained of John Hughson, who kept a public house 

* This year, the first literary journal of America saw the light. It was "The 
General Magazine and Historical Chronicle," printed and edited by Benjamin 
Franklin ; but it lived only one year. Thiss attempt was made at Philadelphia. 

PANICK. 325 

by the North River, wliere negroes resorted i?i defiance of the laws, 
and the house was searched without effect ; but Hughson had an 
indented servant, by name Mary Burton, (whether purchased by 
him from the convict ships, or sold to pay her passage, does not 
appear,) who had been widi him from the preceding midsummer — 
being a girl of sixteen years of age ; and this girl mentioned to a 
neighbour, that goods had been brought to the house and concealed ; 
but indmated that if Hughson knew she said so, he would kill her. 
This communication being carried to the under sheriff, the girl was 
taken out of Hughson's house and carried to Alderman Banker's, 
where, having been promised her freedom, she was lodged in the 
city hall ; which was at that time in Wall street, corner of Nassau, 
and was likewise the jail. On the 4th of March, the justices met at 
the city hall, and John Hughson, with his wife, and Mary Burton, 
were brought before them. Hughson confessed that some goods 
had .been brought to his house, and he delivered them up to the 

At this same examination, another in-dweller of Hughson's 
tavern was brought forward : this was a girl of notorious ill fame, 
called Margaret Sorubiero, alias Solinburgh, alias Kerry — com- 
monly called Peggy Carey. She had been an inmate at Hugh- 
son's, the previous summer, but had removed to John Romme's, 
near the new Battery, and again returned to Hughson's. The 
indented servant, Mary, who had been promised her liberty, 
deposed that a negro man, called Quin, (but whose name was 
Caesar Vaarck, now called Varick, from which comes the present 
Varick street,) came to Hughson's, and got in at the window of 
Peggy's room. That next morning she saw some speckled linen 
in Peggy's room, and the negro, Ca;sar, gave deponent two pieces 
of silver ; and the negro had two mugs of punch, and bought of 
Mary's master a pair of stockings, and gave him a lump of silver. 
That her master, Hughson, and his wife, saw and hid away the 
linen. But not a word was said, of any conspiracy, or meeting, or 
plotting of negroes. 

Caesar was taken up, denied the robbery, and was committed ; 
as was another negro. Prince Auboyman. 

John Vaarck, a baker, who was Caesar's master, lived in a house, 
the kitchen of which adjoined the yard of Romme's house, near the 
new Battery, and he found some of Hogg's goods under his kitchen 
floor, and delivered them to the mayor. Romme, a shoemaker, 
and tavern-keeper of the lowest order, absconded, but was after- 
wards taken at Brunswick, New Jersey. 

Peggy denied every thing charged. Hughson admitted the 
receiving and secreting certain linen and pieces of silver. 

On the ISth of March, at or about mid-day, the house in the fort, 
(sometimes called the king's house, sometimes the province-house, 

326 PANICK. 

and the governour's house,) adjouiing the king's chapel, was dis- 
covered to be on fire. The Ueutenant-governour then Uved in this 
house. Notwithstanding the efforts to save it and the other build- 
ings in the fort — king's chapel, the secretary's office " over the 
fort gate," (next the Parade, now the Bowling-green,) the barracks 
and the stables — were all burnt. At the time, the misfortune 
was attributed to a plumber's having left fire in a gutter, between 
the house and chapel ; and so said Governour Clarke, in his com- 
munication to the legislature : but other fires occurring, and alarms 
of fires spreading, a panick seized the whole population, which pro- 
duced effects similar to the terror which drove men mad respecting 
witches and witchcraft, both in Europe and America, and which 
made all England insane in Titus Oates's time. 

Captain Warren's chimney took fire, near the long bi'idge at 
the south west end of the town, and die roof caught fire, but was 
exdnguished ; a week after, Mr. Vanzant's store house took fire 
from a smoker's carelessness, and was quenched immediately, as 
it was near the river. Three days after fire was twice called, but 
no harm done. Suspicion and terror seized the people ; the ne- 
groes were watched : a woman saw three negroes " walking up the 
Broadway towards the English Church," (Trinity,) and one of 
them said, with a vapouring sort of air, "fire, fire, scorch, scorch, 
a litde — damn it by and by," and then threw up his hands and 
laughed. This was said by Mr. Walter's negro Quaco. All this 
was made known to a neighbouring alderman, who informed the 
rest of the justices thereof at their meeting next day. 

A few days after another chimney took fire ; and Mrs. Hilton's 
house, by the Fly Market was discovered to be on fire in the roof, 
but immediately put out. It was suspected that the fire had been 
wrapt in a bundle of tow, for some tow was found near the place. 
Thus the fact was plain. They would not attribute the burning 
chimneys to the want of chimney sweeping — that would have been 
too obvious and natural a cause. 

Some time before, a Spanish vessel partly manned by negroes, 
had been brought into New York as a prize, and all the crew that 
were black had been condemned as slaves in the court of admi- 
ralty, and sold accordingly at vendue ; now these men had the 
impudence to say, notwithstanding they were black, that they were 
freemen in their own country, and to grumble at their hard 
usage of being sold as slaves.* One of these Spanish negroes 
had been bought by Captain Sarly, and the captain's house stood 
on that side of Mrs. Hilton's house on which the fire w^as disco- 

* I quote from the serious account published by Judge Horsemanden, as may 
be seen. 


verecL A cry was raised among the people, " the Spanish negroes ! 
the Spanish ! take up the Spanish negroes !" And when certain 
persons asked Sarly's Spanish negro some questions respecting the 
fires, he behaved himself insolently ; upon which he was sent to 
jjil by a magistrate, who was informed of his insolence, and direc- 
tion was given to a constable to commit all the rest of that cargo, 
in order for their safe custody and examination. Thus " conscience 
does make cowards of us all," and cowardice is only assuaged by 
the blood of that it fears. The magistrates met that afternoon, 
and another alarm of fire confirmed their fears, although the 
Spaniards were under lock and key ; for Peggy, the prostitute, 
Mary Burton, Hughson and wife, the Spaniards, and all the ne- 
groes caught in the streets, had been incarcerated together. Some 
fire was seen, or supposed on the roof of Phillipse's store-house, 
and immediately extinguished ; but a cry of fire was raised, and 
of " negro, negro," and then " Cuff Phillipse" was the cry ; and 
poor CufF, frightened, ran to his master's house ; but was followed, 
dragged out and carried to jail. " INIany people," says the histo- 
rian of the plot, " had such terrible apprehensions on this occasion, 
that several negroes, (many of whom had assisted to put out the 
fire,) who w^ere met in the streets, w^ere hurried away to jail ; and 
when they were there, they were continued some time in confine- 
ment, before the magistrates could spare time to examine into their 
several cases." 

Thus we see the jail, a small portion of a small building, called 
the City Hall, was crowded with receivers of stolen goods, thieves, 
prostitutes and slaves ; while the people ran wild with terror, and 
the panick-struck magistrates met daily, as if to sanction the panick,* 
or as it would seem, to propagate the epidemick. 

* I transcribe names in the above instance, and some others, to show the anti- 
quity of some very few of" the present families of New York. There is a curious 
coincidence in the names and situations of the dwelhng houses of some late per- 
sons in this city, which I now mention. One of the negroes afterwards accused, 
belonged to Rosevelt, a painter, in the Fly, i. e. at the east end of the town; and 
another belonged to Slcydal, a tallow chandler, in the Broadway. Now in 1776, 
and after, Cornelius Rosevelt, (or Roosevelt,) a painter and paint vender, lived in 
a house but lecently removed or pulled down, (]H:',6) at the bottom of Ferry 
street, crossing the street and facing Peck's slip, which was in 1741 the east end of 
the town: and Jolm tsleydal, (or Sleydle,) a tallow chandler, lived for many years 
in Broadway, and died perhaps ten years since. He was the first president of the 
Mechanick's Bank. Tlie Fly, mentioned above, seems to have included ail the 
east side of the town. It will be seen, that the negroes are said to have been di- 
vided into the " Fly boys," and " Longbridge boys." Whether the Longbridge 
meant the Coffee-house-bridge, (bottom of Wall street,) or a similar planking over 
a sewer, by the F.xchange, (bottom of Broad street,) I do not know. In 1728 and 
1729, the white boys of New York were divided into hostile parties, called 
"Smith's Fly," and "Broad Way," and fought with stones in the streets. I re- 
member the two parties throwing 5tonos in fuch showers, that the shop keepers 
in Queen street clo.scd their doors and windows. 


On the 11th of April, the common council met : present, John 
Cruger, Esq., mayor ; the recorder, Horsmanden ; aldermen Ge- 
rardus Stuyvesant, William Romaine, Simon Johnson, John 
Moore, Christopher Banker, John Pintard, John Marshal : assis- 
tants, Henry Bogert, Isaac Stoutenburgh, Philip Minthorne, George 
BrinckerhofF, Robert Benson, and Samuel Lawrence. It must be 
always kept in mind, that the recorder, Mr. Horsemanden, is the 
historian of the plot, and supports to his utmost the supposed facts 
upon which so many wretches were tortured and murdered. 

At the above meeting ot the common council, the recorder pro- 
poses that the governour be requested to offer rewards for the 
incendiaries, their associates, and accomplices, and that the city 
should pay the costs. Accordingly it was resolved, that his honour, 
the lieutenant-governour, be requested to offer a reward to any 
white person, of <£100 current money of this province, and pardon 
if concerned, and freedom to any slave, with ,£20 and pardon, 
(the master to be paid £25,) and to any free negro, mulatto or In- 
dian, £4:5 and pardon, if concerned. With this ordinance, the 
mayor and recorder, waited upon the lieutenant-governour, Mr. 

Such was the consternation, that many people removed their 
household furniture, and gave any price for vehicles and assistants. 
Thieves triumphed, and the affrighted inhabitants were plundered. 
Then it was ordered that search should be made for strangers, and 
on Monday, the 13th of April, each alderman, assistant, and consta- 
ble, searched his ward, and the militia was turned out, and centriea 
posted to guard all avenues. While this was going on, the justices 
Were examining the negroes, who protested they knew nothing of 
any plot, or of the origin of any fires. No strangers or suspicious 
persons were detected. But one alderman found in possession of 
Robin, Chambers's negro, and Cuba, his wife, some things which 
he thought unbecoming the condition of a slave, and he took the 
things, and committed their owners to jail. 

Poor Cuff Phillipse, was proved to have been active in putting 
out the fire at his masters store: but " it was thought proper," to 
keep him in jail, " to wait further discovery." 

In the meantime, the offer of reward was proclaimed : here Was 
tnoney and pardon to the free, and money pardon and liberty, to the 
slave, who should accuse himself and others, according to the dic- 
tates of the magistracy, prompted by their fears ; and give testimony, 
and confirm the general opinion. We shall see its effects. 

We now come to Mr. Recorder's journal of the proceedings 
against the conspirators. Suj)reme court, 21st of April, 1741 j 
present Frederick Phillipse, second judge, Daniel Horsemanden, 
third. Grand jury, Robert Walts, merchant, foreman, Jeremiah 
Latouche, Joseph Read, Anthony Rutgers, John M'Evers, John 


Cruger, junior, John Merritt, Adoniah Schuyler, Isaac De Peyster, 
Abraham Ketteltas, David Provoost, Rene Hett, Henry Beekman, 
junior, David Van Home, George Spencer, Thomas Duncan, 
and Winant Van Zandt ; all described as merchants. Mr. Phillipse, 
charges and tells them, that the people " have been put into 
many frights and terrors," respecting burning ; and that they 
must inquire, and " by all lawful means discover the perpe- 
trators, for there is much room to suspect," that these fires were 
not accidental. That there are many persons in jail suspected : 
that arson is felony at common law, even if the fire is put out, or 
goes out of itself : that it is a shocking crime, and if any guilty of 
it escape, " who can say he is safe, or where it wall end ?" He 
then commands to find out all persons who sell strong liquors to 
negroes, and descants on the unlawfulness of selling "penny drams," 
without the consent or direction, of the master of the slave. In 
general, they, the grand jury, are to present "all conspiracies, com- 
binations and other offences." 

Accordingly, the grand jury had Mary Burton before them, (this 
was the bought servant of Hughson,) and she refused to be sworn. 
They asked her questions concerning the fires, and she gave no 
answer. They read the proclamation to her, promising protec- 
tion, pardon, liberty from her master, and ^100, and after refusals 
to her examination, being very " glib-tongued," she said, she would 
tell what she knew about the stolen goods, but would say nothing 
about the fires. This was interpreted, that she could, but would 
not. They then told her that if she did not prevent the burning, 
etc., she would answer for it at the day of judgment; that she need 
not fear any body, and her reward was sure, (liberty, protection, 
and ,£100,) and she then made deposition, that Prince, (Auboy- 
man's negro) and Caesar, (Vaarck's) brought the stolen goods ; and 
Hughson, his wife, and Peggy, received them. That Caesar, Prince, 
and Cuffee Phillipse, used frequently to meet at Hughson's tavern, 
and talk about burning the fort, and that they would go down to the 
Fly (the east end of the cit}') and burn the whole town : and that 
her master and mistress said they would assist them. Here 
were three poor negroes, observe, who were to burn a fort, garri- 
soned, and a town of many thousand inhabitants, assisted by a 
poor tavern and brothel keeper, and his v.ife. All the words seem 
to be put in the mouth of the wretched girl. That when all this 
was done, Caesar should be governour, and Hughson should be 
king ; that Cuffee used to say, that a great many people had too 
much, and others too litde : that his old master (Phillipse) had a 
great deal of money, but that in a short time he should have less, 
and Cuffee have more. That these redoubtable three used to say, 
that when they sat fire to the town, they would do it in the night, 

VOL. 1 ' 42 


and as the white people came to extinguish it, tliey would kill and 
destroy diem. 

It is to be recollected that this girl had been in custody from the 
beginning of JMarch to this time, 22d April : that she at first only 
mentioned the stolen goods, and Caesar as the thief; and that now 
after hearing die conspiracy, and intended destruction of the city, 
for forty or fifty days, and of the reward for pointing out the con- 
spirators, she brings out King Hughson, and (lovernour Caesar, 
and two assistants, Prince and Cuffee. We shall see how she 
multiplies her victims to please her patrons. We must likewise 
notice, that although the conspirators had determined to set fire to 
the town at night, all the fires that had terrified the people, and all 
the alarms, had occurred in the day time. 

This deponent goes on to state, that Hughson threatened to 
poison her, if she told of the stolen goods, and the negroes swore 
they would burn her, if she told of their plot to destroy the town. 
She further swore, that she never saw any white person in com- 
pany, when they talked of burning the town, but her master, mis- 
tj'ess, and Peggy. 

The simple recorder says, that the evidence of a conspiracy, not 
only to burn the city, but also to destroy and murder the people, 
was most astonishing to the grand jury. But that any white people 
should confederate with slaves, in such an execrable and detestable 
purpose, was very amazing.^ But the grand jury seem not to have 
doubted the story, and informed the judges accordingly. The 
grand jury then required the presence of Margaret Sourabiero, 
alias Kerry, or Peggy Carey ; and the judges summon all the 
gentlemen of the law to meet them, and accordingly Messrs. Mur- 
ray, Alexander, Smith, Chambers, Nichols, Lodge, and Jameson, 
attended. Thus we know the strength of the bar of New York, in 
1741, all being present, but Mr. Bradley the attorney-general. 

It seems, that there was an act of the province for trying 
negroes, in a summary way, as in other colonies, by the jus- 
tices : but as in this case, white people were concerned, and 
a conspiracy so deep and dark, that they could not see into it, 
but was certainly in operation, it was determined to place the mat- 
ter under charge of the supreme court, and all the lawyers offered 
to assist on every trial by turns. 

Peggy Carey, being impeached as a conspirator, by Mary Bur- 
ton, the judges examined her in prison, where she had been for 
forty or fifty days. They endeavoured to make her accuse others, 
by promising her |)ardon and reward, as in the case of the other 
wretched girl, who accused her: but she^aid, " that if she should 
accuse any body of any such diing, she must accuse innocent per- 
sons, and wrong her own soul." Before the grand jury, she denied 
all knowledge of the fires. 

NEGRO IM.OT. -'331 

On tlie 24th of April, Csesar \ iiarck, Prince Auboymaii, John 
Hughsoii, his wife, and Peggy C'arey, were arraigned for felony, 
and pleaded not guilty ; the trial commenced of Caesar and 
Prince ; who, not challenging any of the jury, INfessrs. Koger 
French, John Groesbeck, John Kichard, Abraham Kipp, Ceorge 
Witts, John Thurman, Patrick Jackson, Benjamin ]\Ioore, William 
Hammersley, John Lashiere, Joshua vSlcydall, and John yiiurmer, 
were sworn. The prisoners were found guilty of the rohheiy. 

On the 3rd of May, one Arthur Price, conniiitted to jail lor theft, 
gives information, that he had discourse with Peggy Carey, through 
the hole of the prison door, and she said, " she was afraid of those 
fellows," (the negroes as he understood,) but if they told any thing 
of her, she would hang every one of them, but she would not for- 
swear herself, unless they brought her in. He asked what she 
meant by forswearing herself, and she said, " there is fourteen 
sworn." What, about Hogg's goods ? No, about the fire. What, 
Peggy, were you going to set the town afire? And she answereed, 
she was not, but said, since I knew of it, they made me swear. 
Heasked,was" John andliis wife in it?" She answered, "yes : they 
were sworn with the rest." She was asked, if she was not afraid 
the negroes would discover her? She answered, "no: Prince, CufF, 
Caesar, and Fork's negro — not Caesar, but another, were all true 
hearted fellows." All this is accompanied with oaths and black- 
guardism. Price further states, that I'eggy told him, Mary Bur- 
ton had accused her, made her as black as the rest. But that if 
they did hang the two poor fellows, (Cassar and Prince) they would 
be revenged on them yet. And she concluded, with warning him 
not to tell what she had said to him. This is the representation 
made by the thief and informer : who answered to Bedlow as Mary 
Burton represents Titus Oates. 

About this time, seven barns were burnt at Hackinsack. Two 
negroes were suspected The one, because he discharged a gun, 
saying it was at a person who fired his master's barn, but killed 
nobody: the other, because he was found with a gun, and loading 
it with two bullets. They were condemned, and both burnt at 
the stake. One, it is said, confessed that he burnt three barns. 
The other denied all guilt. This was adding to the terrors of New 

On Wednesday, the 6th of May, John Hughson, his wife, and 
Peggy Carey were tried for receiving stolen goods, and found 
guilty: and Sarah Hughson, the daughter of John, was committed 
as one of the confederates in the conspiracy : and Jack, (Sley- 
dall's negro) was committed, on suspicion of putting fire to Mr. 
Murray's hay-stack. 

Next day, Peggy Carey, after being convicted as a receiver of 
stolen goods, and, as the simple recorder says, " seeming to 


think it high time to do something to recommend herself to mercy, 
makes voluntary confession." 

This wretched creature was an Irish prostitute, and appears to have 
been a most depraved blackguard. She changes the scene of the 
conspiracy from Hughson's to John Romme's, (a shoemaker and 
tavern-keeper of the same description, living near the new Battery.) 
There she says, that she saw meetings of negroes ; and once, in 
particular, in December last : and she names CufF, Phillipse's — 
Brash, Jay's — Curacoa Dick — Caesar, Pintard's — Patrick, Eng- 
lish's, — Jack, Beastead's — Cato, Alderman Moore's. We may 
observe, that her friend, Ccesar Vaarck, is not implicated. All these 
negroes Romme swore; that is, administered an oath to. She 
makes the shoemaker propose to the negroes to burn the fort and 
the city, and to steal, and rob, and bring the goods to him ; and he 
would carry them (the negroes) to a strange country, and give them 
their liberty and set them free. That Romme's wife was by ; and 
after the meeting, Romme made his wife and the confessor Peggy, 
swear secresy. 

All this is so plainly a tale made up to gratify the magistrates and 
save herself, that even the recorder does not seem fully to believe 
it, especially as it does not agree with Mary Burton's story. This 
voluntary confession, extorted by the fear of the cart's-tail, the cat- 
with-nine-tails, and the gallows, was altogether denied by the 
wretched woman, when she found that she was condemned to be 
hanged, on the testimony of creatures as worthless of credit as her- 
self. She had made out a story of Romme's swearing the negroes 
to burn the fort and city, evidently because she hoped to save 

Romme's wife, behaving absconded, conscious of having received 
stolen goods and sold liquor to negroes, denied the swearing to the 
conspiracy, butacknov/ledged that her husband had received stolen 
goods. If a slave is not a thief, he is an exception to the rule im- 
plied by his condition. The tippling-house keeper was very likely 
to be an encourager of other vices, as well as drunkenness. 

Romme's wife said that a negro kept game-fowls at their house, 
and that the negroes used to come and drink drams there ; and 
never more than three at a time. 

All the negroes mentioned by Peggy, were apprehended, brought 
before her, and identified — she accusing them as being sworn, or 
conspirators, and they denying. They were then passed in review 
before Mary Burton, Peggy's successful rival for magisterial favour, 
and she acquitted them of being among her gang. No matter — 
they are all locked up in the city hall jail. Now, the negroes begin 
to accuse one and another, as it would seem, by way of injuring an. 
enemy and guarding themselves. All accused are locked up. 

Caesar and Prince are released, by being hanged. " Ordered^ 


That the gibbet on wliich Caesar is to be hanged in chains, be fixed 
on the island, near tiie powder-house." Tlie powder-house, within 
my remembrance, stood on a small island made by an arm of the 
Kolic, or Collect, embracing it, where now Centre street proceeds 
from Chatham and comes into Pearl street. It appears from the 
following paragraph, that the horrible torture of hanging alive in the 
chains, was not resorted to. 

" Monday, 11th of 3Iay. Ca3sar and Prince were executed this 
day at the gallows, according to sentence : they died very stubbornly, 
without confessing any thing about the consiAracy: and denied that 
they knew any thing about it to the last. The body of Caesar was 
accordingly hung in chains." These negroes were thieves, with- 
out doubt ; and from the above statement of their denial of the con- 
spiracy, I infer that they confessed the thievery. 

Such was the panick to which the people of New York had 
wrought themselves, that the 13th of May, 1741, was by procla- 
mation of the Lieutenant-governour, kept as a solemn fast, because 
"his most gracious majesty, for the vindicating the honour of his 
crown, had declared war against Spain, and because of the severity 
of the cold last winter, and because many houses and dwellings had 
been fired about our ears, without any discovery of the cause or 
occasion of them, which had put us into the utmost consternation." 

In the meantime, Hughson, his wife, and Peggy Carey, are 
indicted for conspiring, confederating, and combininc with divers 
negroes, to burn, kill and destroy, iScc. ; and the two first are 
arraigned — they pleading not guilty. 

Mary Burton, who is in possession of the sheriff, and promised 
protection, liberty, and ^100, deposes that Hughson, his wife, his 
daughter, and Peggy, conspired with certain negroes, naming them, 
to burn the town, and kill all the whites. The negroes are appre- 
hended. Whoever this poor ignorant wretch mentions, is imme- 
diately put in jail. Among other particulars, she swears that one of 
these negroes paid Hughson £12, in Spanish pieces of eight, to buy 
guns, which Hughson did, and hid them away under the garret 
floor in his house ; but they could not be found, nor ever traced. 

Hughson, his wife, and daughter being in jail, the magistrates 
employ a wretch, (who had been committed for thieving,) Arthur 
Price, to go to the negroes in the jail and give them punch, to get 
out of them (what are called) confessions ; and Price is likewise 
employed to go to Sarah Hughson, to endeavour to make her 
accuse her father and mother. Price accordingly tells of a conver- 
sation he says he had with this girl, who being examined and con- 
fronted with the informer, denies it to his face. 

The whole proceedings are a monument of absurdity, meanness, 
and cruelty, instigated by cowardice and an innate sense of the guilt 


of holding men in slavery. One poor negro is accused of saying 
that he knew he must be hanged, as the two others had been. 

The negroes gave themselves up as lost, the moment they were 
committed, unless they could escape by accusing others, and 
making what are called confessions. 

Romme was apprehended at Brunswick, New Jersey. He 
stands accused as a conspii'ator, by Peggy, and Mary Burton goes 
so far now as to say, Romme was intimate at Hughson's. 

A simple negro boy of the neighbourhood is accused, brought to 
town, and placed before the grand jnry. He denies all knowledge 
of the conspiracy ; but is told, that if he will tell the truths he shall 
not be hanged. The negroes by this time knew, that by telhng the 
truth, is meant to tell of a plot to burn the town. Accordingly, he 
says. Quack asked him to set the fort on fire ; and CufFee said he 
would set fire to one house, and Curacoa Dick to another, and so 
on. Being asked, "what the negroes intended by all this mis- 
chief.'"' he answered, "to kill ail the gentlemen and take their 
wives ; that one of the fellows already hanged, was to be an officer 
in the Long Bridge Company, and the other, in the Fly Company." 

It appears that on most occasions, the town was divided into two 
parts — one from the eastern extremity, the Fresh-water or the 
Swamp, now Ferry street, and called the Fly, and sometimes 
Smith's Fly, extending along the East River to Wall street — and 
the other the Long Bridge, perhaps from the bridge covering the 
sewer in Broad street, near the Exchange ; and sometimes this 
division was called Broadway, as including the upper part of the 

This negro boy is called Sawney, and said to be Hiblett's : he 
took a good deal of urging and persuading before he could be made 
to confide in the white people. He said, "the time before, after 
the negroes told all they knew, the white people hanged them." 
This was traditionary among the slaves, relative to 1712. 

Fortune is apprehended and examined ; who tells of Quack's 
taking him to the fort sometime before the fire there, and giving 
him punch, and that Quack told him he would burn the fort ; and 
after it was done, the last fellow examined (Sawney) told him he 
was one that did it : thus criminating him. On the 25th, more 
negroes were committed, and next day Sawney being again exam- 
ined, says, " at a meeting of negroes he was called in and fright- 
ened to undertaking to burn the Slip Market," probably the meat 
market ; and he saw some of the attempts to fire houses, and was 
sworn at Comfort's house, to be true to one another : he said he was 
never at Hughson's or Romme's houses, and accused a woman 
(whom he had before accused of setting fire to a house) of murder- 
ing her child, by laying it where it would freeze to death. More 
are taken up and examined, day after day. Quack and CufFee are 


tried for wickedly and maliciously conspiring with others to burn 
the town and murder the inhabitants ; and die attorney general 
makes a speech, telling the jury that this was the mystery of 
iniquity, that these negroes were monsters, devils, &c., and they 
will find Quack and Cuflee guilty. The principal witnesses for 
the king, are Mary Burton and Price, who tell the same story 
as before ; the others tell the most frivolous circumstances ; negro 
evidence being good against each other. Fortune and Sawney 
are accordingly witnesses, and say that Quack and Cuflee said so 
and so — that they wanted to set fire to the fort, &c. Rosevelt, 
master of Quack, deposed that he was at home when the fire took 
place at the fort; and Phillipse, Cuff's master, testified much the 
same of him. A soldier swears that Quack did come to the fort, 
(he being sentry,) and would go in, (his wife living there,) the 
sentry knocked him down, but the officer of the guard admitted 
him on the day of the fire. The prisoners protest their innocence. 
Mr. Smidi, who had disfranchised the Jews by his eloquence, 
summed up. He is aware of the folly of the plot, still he insists 
on the proofs of it. He observes, that the negroes had been in- 
dulged with the same kind of trial as is due to freemen ; though 
they might have been proceeded against in a more summary and 
less favourable way. Of the negro witnesses, he observes, " the 
law requires no oath to be administered to them ; and indeed it 
would be a profanation of it to administer it to a heathen in a legal 
form." He says, " the monstrous ingratitude of this black tribe 
is what exceedingly aggravates their guilt." He then represents 
their happy situation, very much as is still done. " They live 
without care ; are commonly better fed and clothed than the poor 
of most Christian countries ; they are indeed slaves, but under 
the protection of the law : none can hurt them with impunity ; 
but notwithstanding all the kindness and tenderness with which 
they have been treated among us, yet this is the second attempt 
of this same kind that this brutish and bloody species of man- 
kind have made within one age." The court charged, the 
jury found them guilty, they protest their innocence, and the 
judge sentences them to be chained to a stake and burnt to 
death — " and the Lord have mercy upon your poor wretched 
souls." He tells them they ought to be very thankful that 
their feet are caught in the net, and the mischief fallen upon their 
pates. He calls them abject wretches, the outcasts of the nations 
of the earth ; and tells them of the tenderness and humanity with 
which they have been treated. He advises them to take care of 
their souls, but as to their bodies, they must be burnt ; and, accord- 
ingly, on Saturday, the 3d of May, about three o'clock, they were 
brought to the stake, surrounded with piles of wood. The spec- 


tators were very numerous, and impatient to set fire to the wood. 
The poor wretches showed great terror in their countenances, and 
looked as if they would gladly have confessed all they knew, but 
on being interrogated by Mr. More, the deputy sheriff undertook 
to examine them without effect. Then Mr. Rosevelt undertook 
Quack, (his slave,) and More examined Cuffee ; and these exam- 
iners drew up minutes of what they called the poor terrified 
wretches confessions : that Hughson contrived the plot to burn 
the town and kill the people — that Quack did set fire to the fort 
with a lighted stick, &c., — that other negroes named (voted) Quack 
the proper person, as he had a wife in the fort — that Mary Burton 
had spoken the truth, and could name many more. Both made 
confession, and the execution was suspended until the governour's 
pleasure should be known as to a reprieve, which they are flattered 
with, if they confess as required. It being thought that more dis- 
coveries might be made, and persons of more consequence than 
Hughson, &c., implicated ; but the people were so impatient and 
determined for the show, that the sheriff did not dare take them 
back to jail, and the execution proceeded. More negroes were 
taken up. 

The confessions, so called, of Quack and Cuffee, when chained 
to the stake and surrounded by the wood ready to be fired to con- 
sume them alive, are evidently mere words put in their mouths, 
and repeated in the hope of saving their lives. On the 1st of June, 
Sawney (or Sandy) was examined again, and implicated more ne- 
groes as being sworn in, and threatening him if he would not join 
them ; and talks of penknives produced and sharpened to kill 
white men. Accordingly more negroes are put in jail. Fortune 
is examined, and he accuses Quack (who had been burned,) and 
Sawney ; but never heard of a house where conspirators met, nor 
knew Hughson. Sarah, a negro wench, is examined, and is in 
violent agitation ; foamed at the mouth, and uttered the bitterest 
imprecations, denying that ever she was at Comfort's house, or 
knew any thing of the conspiracy : but being told that others had 
said so and so, and that she could only save her life by confessing, 
she affirms all that is told her, and implicates a great number of 
negroes ; but on hearing read to her what she had confessed, de- 
nied and excused many persons. Hughson desires to be sworn, 
apparendy that he might in the most solemn manner deny the con- 
spiracy ; but the recorder tells him, that he and wife and daughter 
being convicted felons, must be executed as such, and exhorts him 
to confess the conspiracy. He demands to be sworn : it is refus- 
ed : and he in the most solemn manner denies all knowledge of 
the conspiracy to destroy, ^c, and exculpates his wife and child : 
but is sent back to jail unheard. 

Although Hughson and family were already sentenced to be 


hanged respecting the robbery, they were tried for conspiracy, 
on the 4th of June, 1741. There were three indictment: 1st, that 
Hughson, his wife, his daughter, and Peggy Kerry, or Carey, with 
three negroes, Caesar, Prince, and CufFee, conspired in March last, 
to set fire to the house in the fort : 2d, that Quack (ah-eady burnt,) 
did set fire to and burn the house, and that the prisoners, Hughson, 
his wife, daughter Sarah, and Peggy, encouraged him so to do : 3d, 
that CufFee (ah-eady burnt,) did set fire to Philhpse's house, and 
burnt it ; and they, the prisoners, procured and encouraged him so 
to do. The prisoners pleaded not guilty The attorney-general's 
address to the jury is full of invectives the most outrageous: Hugh- 
son is infamous, inhuman, an arch-rebel against God, his king, and 
his country; he is a devil incarnate, &c. Besides this eloquent 
attorney-general, there were counsel for the king, Jos. Murray, 
James Alexander, William Smith, and Jno. Chambers. The 
witnesses, Moore and Roosevelt, testify to the confession of Quack 
and CufFee, at the stake, in hope to save themselves from the 

North and Lynch, constables, testify that they saw negroes eat- 
ing and drinking at Hughson's, and dispersed them ; and that 
Peggy was waiting on them with a tumbler ; and they had knives 
and forks. 

Mary Burton swears, that negroes came to Hughson's at night, 
eating and drinking, and bought provisions. She swears to all 
slated by others, viz. Hughson's swearing the negroes, procuring 
arms, that she had seen seven or eight guns and swords, a bag of 
shot, and a barrel of gunpowder at Hughson's ; that he said he 
would kill her if she told, and wanted her to swear, and ofFered her 
silk gowns and gold rings; but she would not. 

Arthur Price, the fellow employed by the magistrates to go into 
the jail and drink with the negroes, to make them confess to him, 
and who is praised for his cleverness in convicting them, confirms 
his former stories. 

Five men testify, that they heard Quack, CufFee, &c. say, when 
in jail, to Hughson, " this is what you have brought us to." 

Of the witnesses for the prisoners, one stated that he lived in 
Hughson's house three or four months the last winter, and never 
saw any entertainments there for negroes. Two others stated, that 
they never saw harm in him or his house. 

None but the wretches. Burton and Price, pretend to speak of a 
conspiracy ; and the prisoners protest their innocence, but have no 

Mr. Smith then addressed the jury, and told them that it is a 
horrid thijig to burn the town and kill them all — it is " black and 
hellish" — that John Hughson's crimes have made hira blacker 
ihsii a negro — 'ihai the cradif of the witnasses is gocrd-— -srid if tbay 

voL= I. 43 


find the prisoners guilty, they cannot acquit them without the great- 
est injustice and cruehy to their country. 

The judge tells the jury, that the evidence against the prisoners 
is ample, full, clear, and satisfactory. And the jury find them guilty 
in a short time — merely going out and returning. On the 8th of 
June, Hughson and family are brought up, and the judge tells them 
that they are guilty of an unheard of crime, in not only making 
negro slaves their equals, but even their superiours — by waiting 
upon, keeping company with, entertaining them with meat, drink, 
and lodging ; and, what is much more amazing, to plot, conspire, 
consult, abet, and encourage these black seed of Cain to burn this 
city, and to kill and destroy us all. He further tells them, that 
although " with uncommon assurance they deny the fact, and call 
on God, as a witness of their innocence, He, out of his goodness 
and mercy, has confounded them, and proved their guilt, to the 
satisfaction of the court and jury." This may serve as a specimen 
of judicial eloquence at that day, although he berafes them still 
more, before he sentences them all "to be hanged by the neck till 
dead," on Friday, the 12th of June, four days after, and John 
Hughson to be hung in chains. On the 12th, Hughson, his wife, 
and Peggy, are accordingly hanged, protesting their innocence of 
the conspiracy — Hughson acknowledging his guilt in receiving 
stolen goods. Peggy, who had accused Romme, declared to the 
last, that she had in that forsworn herself. In the meantime, the court 
go on ; and on the 5th of June, Sarah, the negro wench, is examined 
again, and names twenty negroes who were present at Comfort's, 
whetting their knives and saying, " they would kill white people." 
Accordingly, 6th of June, Jack, Cook, Robin, Caesar, Cuffee, 
another CufFee, and Jamaica, are put at the bar, and plead not 
guilty: and on the Sth, they are tried. The evidence against these 
poor creatures, is the confession of Quack and CufFee at the stake, 
and the stories of Sawney, Mary Burton, and black Sarah. They, 
of course, are found guilty, denying the charges. It was ordered, 
that Jack, Cook, Robin, Caesar, and Cufiee, be executed the 
next day, and Jamaica three days after. But Jack promises, if 
his life is spared, he would discover more ; and they "respite his 
execution, till 'twas found how well he would deserve further 
favour." The others were executed. Jack is pardoned ; and by 
his testimony, fourteen more are implicated, one of whom, for the 
same reward, confesses, as it is called, and accuses more still. Jack's 
dialect was perfectly unintelligible: but two white interpreters were 
found ; and as Jack mentioned negroes who had eat and drank at 
Hughson's, they were taken up : "when they were eating, he said 
they began to talk about setting the houses on fire," and afterwards 
mentions such and such blacks who said they would set their mas- 
ter's houses on fire, and then go out to fight; five or six Spanish 


negroes were with thern ; but he could not understand them ; that 
they wailed a month and a lialf for the Spaniards and French to 
come, but they not coming, set fire to the fort. On the 11th June, 
Francis, a Spanish negro, Albany, and CuracoaDick were sentenced 
to be chained to a slake, and burnt to death. One who had con- 
fessed and was pardoned, said, that Hughson was to have the goods 
stolen, i. e. plundered on firing the houses, and Caesar was to be 
king. King Caesar had been hanged. Sarah Hughson was 
respited to ] 9th June. On the 15th June, Ben and Quack are 
condemned to be burnt, and three others hanged. 

The five Spanish negroes had been taken in a prize, as 1 have 
mentioned, aud not only denied the conspiracy, but said, notwith- 
standing they had been sold at auction, that they never were slaves 
at home ; but the jury found them guilty. 

On the 19th June, the Lieutenant-governour proclaims pardon 
to all who will confess and discover, before the 1st July. Wan 
and London, two Indian slaves, are among the accused. After 
the proclamation, confessions and discoveries multiply, and more 
and more are taken up ; and the confessions are the evidences on 
the trials. They were to cut the white people's throats with pen- 
knives. When the town was on fire, they were to meet at the end 
of the Broadway, next to the fields. 

June 2-5th, Mary Burton, who at first denied the guilt of any 
white man, except Hughson, accuses Jury, or Ury, a Roman 
priest, so called, as concerned with Hughson, and implicates 
Campbell, who once was a schoolmaster, in company with Ury. 

London, who is called a Spanish Indian, confesses. Brash, Mr. 
Peter Jay's negro, confesses. Seven more negroes are apprehended. 

June 26th, nine negroes are arraigned; seven plead guilty, in 
hope of mercy ; two are tried and convicted on Mary Burton's 
testimony; eight more are arraigned, and all plead guilty ; seven more 
are arraigned, and some plead guilty, others, not guilty. 

June 27th, Adam confesses ; but makes Hughson engage him 
in the plot three years, or more, ago : he says, Hughson told him 
there was a man who could forgive him all his sins : the confession 
is aimed at Ury. Forgiveness of sins, and rum, reconcile him to 
the oath Ury, the priest, as accused by Adam, as making with the 
conspirators. One Doctor Hamilton is now brought in, who lodged 
at Holt's ; and Holt Is accused as one concerned. Holt recom- 
mended his negro, Joe, to fire the play-house, at such time as he 
should tell him. All the early confessors and accusers, mention no 
whites but the Hughsons and Peggy Carey and Romme : now, four 
or five white men are seen, and Adam talks of seven or eight bar- 
rels of powder. It appears, that the negroes, after the proclama- 
tion, were afraid of each other, and each wanted to be first at con- 
fession. The confessions are repetitions, only bringing in more 


individuals. The historian says, " Now many negroes began to 
squeak, in order to lay hold of the benefit of the proclamation." 
Before the proclamation, there were between sixty and seventy 
negroes in jail; and before the 27th June, thirty more slaves were 
added to the number: "'twas difficult to find room for them, nor 
could we see any likelihood of stopping the impeachments." 

The judges were afraid the number might breed an infection ; 
and the poor debtors confined with them, were suffering. The 
judges and lawyers meet, to get rid of their prisoners, and recom- 
mended some to mercy, for the purpose. They devised short 
modes of taking confessions — lumping the business. Still the accu- 
sations and apprehensions go on and increase. On the 30th of 
June, Braveboy gives an account of a frolick, at a free negro's, 
between Mr. Bayard's land and Greenwich lane. Rum is always 
the precursor of the proposition to burn and murder. 

July 1st, the Spanish negroes, those taken by an English priva- 
teer, and adjudged to be slaves, and sold as such, were brought up 
and senlenced to be hanged ; and the same day, five others are 
sentenced, one of them to he hung in chains, on the same gibbet 
with John Hughson ; and likewise Sarah Hughson, still continu- 
ing inflexible, i. e. persisting that she was innocent of any con- 
spiracy, is ordered for execution on Wednesday, Sth July. That 
day, this girl was brought up to Mr. Pemberton, who came to pray 
by her, and after all his admonitions, still denied her guilt ; and 
being carried to her dungeon, where was the negro wench Sarah, 
also to be executed this day, Sarah Hughson at last owned to her 
that she had been sworn into the plot. This being reported by the 
negress, both are respited, and the girl examined again. She then 
confesses that she knew of the plot, speaks of seeing Dry and 
Campbell and a doctor, and thinks she heard the name of one 
Coffin. When sent back to her dungeon, she retracted again, and 
tho judges ordered her execution, as the last experiment to bring 
her to unfold this infernal secret — at least so much of it as might 
be thought deserving a recommendation of her as an object of 
mercy. It is, in another page,* said by Horsmanden, that this girl 
accused Ury of saying " he could forgive all their sins, if they did 
not discover." But on the 11th July, being brought before the chief 
justice, she still denies all she had confessed, and afterwards again 
says it is all true. She is again respited, and again twice more, and 
finally, on the 29th July, pardoned and dismissed ; for the business 
had grown upon the judges. 

In several instances, negroes who were in jail accused others, 
from the notion prevalent, that, by so doing, they would save 

Horsmanden, p. 18. 


themselves ; though they knew, as they afterwards confessed, 
that those they accused were innocent. Victims were required, 
and those who brought them to the ahar of Moloch, purchased their 
own safety, or, at least, their lives. 

On the 2d July, before Chief Justice James De Lancey — Will 
is arraigned, and pleading guilty, is sentenced to be burnt on the 
4th July. By some of the examinations at this time, the plot 
appears better established. Scipio attributes his agreeing to be 
sworn, to his desire for drams, especially after having taken one ; 
and says, Hughson so enticed him. Three negroes are discharged, 
nothing being found sufficient against them. On the Gth July, 
eleven plead guilty. Dundee implicates Doctor Hamilton with 
Hughson, in giving rum and swearing him and others to the plot. 
William Nuill, a white, is sworn by the court, (negroes not sworn, 
as before stated, because heathen) and deposes, that London, a 
negro belonging to Edward Kelly, butcher, said and swore by God 
that if he, the said London, should be taken up on account of the 
plot, he would hang or burn all the negroes in York, whether they 
were concerned or not. This day, five negroes were hanged ; one of 
them upon the same gibbet with Hughson, who, it seems, was hung 
in chains : and the historian says that " the town was amused," by 
a report that Hughson had turned black, and a negro white ; and 
he gives a disgusting picture of the bodies, which " numbers of all 
ranks" ran from curiosity to see. It was said, Harry, a negro 
doctor, had given poison to those who were to be executed, and 
certain changes were produced on their bodies by it. These ap- 
pearances caused much controversy. On the 4th July, forty 
negroes, to get rid of them, were recommended for transportation ; 
and Ward's " Will" was executed, being burnt. At the stake, he 
accuses William Kane, a soldier belonging to the fort, and Kelly, 
another soldier. He said, that Morris's Cato advised him and 
Pedro to bring in many negroes, telling Pedro that he would cer- 
tainly be hanged, or burnt, if he did ro: confess; but if he brought 
in a good many, it would save his life. 

The pile being kindled, this wretch set his back to the stake, and 
raising up one of his legs, laid it upon the fire, and lifting up his 
hands and eyes, cried aloud, and several times repeated the names. 
Quack, Goelet and Will Tiebout, who, he said, had brought him 
into this plot. Other negroes were taken up, with Kane, the sol- 
dier, who is, on the oth July, examine I. He said, he never was 
at John Romme's house, at the Battery ; acknowledges that he 
received a stolen silver spoon, given to his wife, and sold it to Van 
Dype, a silversmith ; denies any knowledge of Ury. INIary Burton 
is brought forward, and accuses Kane, who after denial, finally con- 
fesses that he was at Hughson's, " about the plot," twice ; induced 
so to do by Corker, Coffin, and Fagan. He criminates Ury, though 


not by name. Hughson's father and three brothers, he crimi- 
nates ; and an old woman, a fortune teller, Hughson's mother- 
in-law, all sworn to burn and kill, etc. He says, Ury christened 
some of the negroes, and wanted to seduce him, Kane, to become 
a Roman Catholic ! ! Asked him, if he could read Latin ? He 
said, No ; then asked him, whether he could read English ? He 
said, No. Then Coffin read and told him what a fine thing it was 
to be a Roman ; that they could forgive him, and he should not 
go to hell. And if he had not gone away, they might have seduced 
him to be a Catholick. That Conolly, on Governor's Island, owned 
that he was " bred up a priest," etc. Holt, a dancing master, is 
accused by Kane, but he had gone off. Kane thus describes the 
ceremony of swearincr the negroes : — 

" There was a black ring made on the floor, about a foot and a 
half in diameter; and Hughson bid every one put off the left shoe 
and put their toes within the ring ; and Mrs. Hughson held a bowl 
of punch over their heads, as the negroes stood round the circle, 
and Hughson pronounced the oath above mentioned, (something 
like a freemason's oath and penalties,) and every negro severally 
repeated the oath after him, and then Hughson's wife fed them with 
a draught out of the bowl." Nothing like this is told by any of the 
former confessors. He says, they intended burning the English 
Church ; they advised to do it when the roof was dry, and a full 
congregation. To all this, Kane sets his mark. Coffin, the ped- 
ler, is taken up and examined. He protests he never saw Hugh- 
son until he was hanged, nor Kane, only as he once drank beer widi 
him at Eleanor Waller's. Coffin is committed. Doctor Harry is 
committed, and two negroes discharged. 

On the 17th of July, seven negroes pleaded guilty — and Sarah 
was ordered to be hung next day. 

Adam, accused Doctor Harry, saying he came to the plotters 
in a little canoe from Long Island. The Doctor stoutly denied 
ever having been at Hughson's. 

Kane, and Mary Burton, accused Edward Murphy — and Kane, 
accused David Johnson, a hatter. Accusations against whites now 
thicken. Mary Burton is the grand universal accuser, and An- 
drew Ryase, little Holt the dancing master, John Earl, and seven- 
teen soldiers, are all mingled with the negroes, and with John 
Coffee, Ury, the priest, and Crocher, (a kind of half priest.) 

On the 16th of July, Sarah, the negress, is respited till the 18th, 
and nine negroes being arraigned, four pleaded guilty. Quack 
and Othello, sentenced to be burnt, and Bravcboy hanged. 

The deposition of .John Schultz is material to understanding the 
negro confessions. He swore that a negro man slave, called Cam- 
bridge, belonging to Christopher Codwise, Esq., did, on the 9th of 
June last, confess to this deponent, in the presence of said Mr. 


Codwise, and Richard Baker, that, the confession he had made 
before Messrs. Lodge and Nichols, was entirely false, viz : that 
he had owned himself guilty of the conspiracy, and had accused 
the negro of Richard Baker, called Cajoe, through fear : and said, 
that he heard some negroes in the jail talking together, that if they 
did not confess they should be hanged ; and that was die reason of 
his making that false confession : and what he said relating to 
Horsefield Caesar, was a lie. That he did not know in what part 
of the town Hughson lived ; nor did he remember to have heard 
of the man, till it was a common talk over the town and country 
that Hughson was concerned in a plot with the negroes. 

Quack and Othello, under sentence to be burnt, made confes- 
sion of all the particulars of the story, and Bastean, a negro, tells 
much the same. Kane, Mary Burton, and two of the negroes, 
give testimony against several negroes, and Burton says, that Earl, 
who lived in Broadway, used to come to Hughson's, with ten sol- 
diers at a time. That the white men were to have companies of 
negroes under them. Ury used to be with them. A man, by the 
Mayor's market, who lived at a shop, where she, INTary, used to fetch 
rum from, Is brought in ; and a doctor, a Scotchman, that lived by 
the Slip, and another dancing master. This dancing master, she 
is prompted to call Corry, who being examined, says, that he never 
was at Hughson's house in his life. 

Burton and Kane persist in accusing Corry, and he is com- 
mitted. On the 14th of July, John Ury, schoolmaster, is examined, 
and denies ever having been at Hughson's, or knowing anything of 
a conspiracy: never saw the Hughson's or Peggy Kerry. Notwith- 
standing Kane persists in charging l^ry, with being at Hughson's 
with Corry, and a young gentleman with a pig-tailed wig — Old 
Hughson, (the father of John Hughson,) and tJiree of his sons, 
were sworn in, in their presence. 

On the 15th of July, fourteen nergoes are pardoned — and eight 
tried upon the same charges, and the same witnesses produced, 
Kane, Mary Burton, etc., and they arc found guilty. 

Now comes on regularly the case of Katie against John Ury, alias 
Jury. He is charged with having counselled, procured, etc., a negro 
slave, Quack, to set fire to the king's house in the fort, and pleaded not 
guilty : a second indictment, is, that being a priest, made by the 
authority of the pretended see of Rome, he did come into this province 
and city of New York, after the time limited by a law against 
Jesuits and popish priests, passed in the eleventh year of William 
in ; and did there remain for the space of seven months, and did 
profess himself to be an ecclesiastical person, made and ordained by 
authority from the see of Rome, and did appear so to be, by cele- 
brating masses and granting absolution, etc. To this Ury pleaded 
not guilty, and prayed a copy of the indictments, but only a copy 


of the second was granted him. The use of pen, ink, and paper, 
was granted him. 

As the trial and fate of this man are indicative of the period, I 
shall follow the course of his story, and after return to the others, 
whose trials are going on at the same time. 

A journal kept by him was seized, and an extract taken by the 
grand jury, viz: arrived at Philadelphia, the 17th of February, 1738. 
At Ludinum, 5th March — To Philadelphia, 29th April — Began 
school at Burlington, ISth June — Omilta Jacobus Atherthwaite, 
27th July — Came to school at Burhngton. 23d January, 1740 — 

Saw , 7th May — At five went to Burlington, to Piercy, the 

madman — Went to Philadelphia, 19ih May — Went to Burlington, 
ISth June — At six in the evening to Penefack, to Joseph Ashton 
— Began school at Dublin, under Charles Hastie, at eight pounds 

a year, 31st July — , loth October, — , 27th ditto — 

Came to John Croker, (at the Fighting Cocks,) New York, 2d 
November — 1 boarded gratis with him, 7th November — Natura 
Johannis Pool, 26th December — I began to teach with John Camp- 
bell, 6th April, 1741 — Baptized Timothy Ryan, born ISth April, 
1740, son of John Ryan, and Mary Ryan, ISth May — Pater Con- 
fessor Butler, two Anni, no sacramentum non confessio. On the 
21st July, Dry's trial was put oft' to next term, and next day he was 
arraigned on a new indictment, to con-ect some legal errour in the first. 

Sarah Hughson being again examined, says, that she had often 
seen Ury, the priest, at her fathers house — that she had seen him 
make a ring with chalk on the floor, and make all the negroes then 
present stand round it, and he used to stand in the middle of the 
ring with a cross in his hand, and swear the negroes. Here we 
have Kane's ring, with the priest, for mother Hughson, and the cross 
for the punch bowl. There was nothing of the kind in the first 
confessions. That she saw Ury baptize some of the negroes, and 
forgive them their sins, and preach to them. That Ury wanted 
her to confess to him — and Peggy confessed to him in French, etc. 

On the 24th July, Ehas Desbrosses, confectioner, deposes, that 
Ury came to his shop, with one Webb, a carpenter, and wanted 
sugar-bits, or wafers, and asked him, " whether a minister had not 
his wafers of him ? or, whether that paste, which the deponent 
showed him, was not made of the same ingredients as the Lutheran 
ministers?" or, something to that purpose. And told Ury, if he 
wanted such things, a joiner would make him a mould : and asked 
him if he had a congregation f but Ury, " waived giving him an 

On the 27th of July, Webb, the carpenter, is brought up and 
deposes : 

That at John Croker's, at the Fighting Cocks, he became ac- 
quainted with Ury. He heard him read Latin and English, snd 

ury's trial. 343 

admired him so much, that he employed him to teach his child, 
as he found that he was a schoolmaster, and invhed him to board, 
gratis, at his house. That he understood from him, that he was a 
non-juring minister, and had written a book which was censured 
and called treason, which was what he did not mean ; — that he was 
taken into custody, but a great man got him away ; and by leaving 
England he lost fifty pounds a year. That on religious subjects, 
the carpenter could not always understand him. As to negroes, 
Ury thought they were only fit for slaves: put them above the con- 
dition of slaves, and, in return, they will cut your throats. ThR 
historian recorder, in a note, says, that he was well acquainted 
with the disposition of them. 

Webb proceeds to say, that after Campbell removed to Hugh- 
son's, Ury went thither, and this deponent went th'tlier three times 
and heard him read prayers in the manner of the church of Eng- 
land, but in the prayer for the king, he only mentioned our sove- 
reign lord the king, and not King George. He pleaded against 
drunkenness, debauchery, and Deists : admonishing every one to 
keep to his own minister. He said he only gave a word of admo- 
nition at the request of the family where he was. That in his 
third sermon, Mr. Hildreth was present, and Ury found fault with 
certain doctrines, and insisted that good works, as well as faith, were 
necessary to salvation. And he gave out, where, on a certain 
evening, he should preach from, "upon this rock I will build my 
church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it ; and who- 
soever sins ye remit, they are remitted, and whosoever sins ye 
retain, they are retained." This is to the best of deponent's remem- 
brance : but deponent has not heard that he preached accordinfj- to 
that warning. And he has heard him say, that such and such a 
day was his sacrament day ; and thinks he has heard him say, that 
he must administer the sacrament, but cannot be positive. The 
judges think, that if Sarah Hughson would be affected by a sense 
of gratitude, for saving her life, and kept to her history, concerning 
John Ury, she would be a material witness against him. So they 
recommend her for mercy. That is, she is to be pardoned, if she 
will say what is put in her mouth against the poor schoolmaster. 
On the 2Sth of July, another grand jury is sworn, composed of 
merchants ; the names point to ancestors of some remoteness : 
Joseph Robinson, James Livingston, Hermanns Rutgers, junior,- 
CharlesLeRoux, Abraham Boclen, Peter Rutgers, Jacobus Rose- 
velt, John Auboyman, Stephen Van Cordandt, junior, Abraham 
Lynsen, Gerardus Duykinck, John Provoost, Henry Lane, junior, 
Henry Cuyler, John Rosevelt, Abraham De Peyster, Edward 
Hicks, Joseph Ryall, Peter Schuyler, and Peter Jay. 

Sarah Hughson being pardoned, Ury is brought to the bar, 
the prisoner challenging some of the jury. William Hammersley, 

VOL. I. ^ 44 

946 ury's trial. 

Gerardus Beekman, John Shurmur, Sidney Breese, Daniel Shal- 
ford, Thomas Bohenna, Peter Furman, Thomas Willet, John 
Breese, John Hastin, James Fisher, and Brandt Schuyler, are 
sworn to try him. The indictment, except formalities, is given 
above : it was a charge of felony, in counselling Quack to set fire 
to the governour's house. The counsel arrayed against this poor 
individual are Richard Bradley, attorney general, Mr. Murray, 
Mr. Alexander, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Chambers. Mr. Bradley tells the 
jury the evidence to be produced, and goes over the testimony, as 
above given of Kane, Sarah Hughson, etc., and further, a letter from 
Ge'nl. Oglethorpe, governour of Georgia, saying, that the Spaniards 
had employed emissaries to burn all the towns, and many priests were 
employed under characters of physicians, dancing masters, etc. The 
attorney general says, that this, and much more, will be proved. His 
main discourse is to show the wickedness of popery. The first 
witness is the wretch, Mary Burton. She goes over the charges: 
the fire was to be begun at Croker's, (near the coffee-house, by 
the long bridge in my time, 1775 to 1783, called the Coftee-house 
Bridge, a sewer passed under it from Wall street.) She now tells 
the story of the ring chalked on the floor, and talks of seeing things 
in it that looked like rats, (which the commentator says, were the 
negroes black toes.) And another time she peeped in and saw 
a black thing like a child, and Ury with a book in his hand, and 
she let a spoon drop that she had in her hand, and Ury came out 
and chased her down stairs, but she falling into a butt of water, she 
escaped from him ! When they were doing anything extraordinary 
at night, they would send her to bed. 

Prisoner — You say you have seen me several times at Hughson's, 
what clothes did I usually wear ? 

Answer — She could not tell. 

Prisoner — That's strange, and know me so well .'' 

She then says, several kinds, but particularly, or chiefly, a riding 
coat, and often a brown coat, trimmed with black. 

Prisoner — I never wore such a coat. What time a day did I 
use to come to Hughson's ? 

Answer — Chiefly in the night, and when I have been going to 
bed : I have seen you undressing in Peggy's room, as if you were 
to lie there : but I connot say that you did, for you were always gone 
before I was up in the morning. 

Prisoner — What room was I in, when I called Mary, and you 
came up, as you said .'' 

Answer — In the great room, up stairs. 

Prisoner — What answer did the negroes make, when I offered to 
forgive them their sins, as you said? 

Answer — I don't remember. 

Kane, the soldier, next called, and tells his story, and answers to 

ury's trial. 347 

Ury's questions very boldly : that Ury wanted to convert him— 
could forgive sins — and saw him baptize a child. 

Sarah Hughson being called, Ury objects her conviction and 
condemnation ; but was told, that being pardoned, she was compe- 
tent. The historian says, she was brought this morning to plead 
her pardon, out of the condemned hole, where she had been con- 
fined from the time of her condemnation : and when her pardon 
was pleaded, she was taken from court into a room, in custody of 
the under sheriff, where she was to be near at hand for call upon 
this trial, and there she remained till wanted, and was sent for. 

The letter of General Oglethorpe (before mentioned) was read 
in court. It is addressed to George Clarke, Lieutenant-gover- 
nour. The historian gives extracts from newspapers, to prove that 
the court of France endeavoured to excite revolts and distur- 
bances in the English colonies. He tells a story of an Irish school- 
master, in Ulster county, about the time of the fires in New York, 
drinking the king of Spain's health. 

The wretches, Kane and Hughson's daughter, are the only wit- 
nesses examined against Ury. They are notorious as liars, and it 
is evident that they only testified against this man to save them- 
selves, and as prompted by the court. Ury commenced his de- 
fence, by a speech showing the incongruity of the charges with 
his known behaviour, and the silence of Quack, and others first 
accused and executed. Campbell took the house Hughson had 
occupied, and Ury went with him to take possession, on the 1st of 
May : Hughson and his wife being in custody, charged with felony, 
and Sarah being in the house. She abused Campbell ; and Ury 
reproved her for her foul language. This seems to have added to 
the motives for accusing him. Ury denies all knowledge of Hugh- 
son and his family, and it appears that he knew nothing of them. 
He is stopped in his address to the jury, and told to produce his wit- 
nesses. Croker's testimony exonerates him from keeping company 
with negroes, or their coming to him, while at the house, (before 
the Is I of May,) and all the plotting is charged long before that 
time. He represents him as a pious preacher and a good school- 
master. Ury always declared himself a non-juring clergyman of 
the church of England. He taught Webb's child ; and Webb 
made a kind of de>k for him, which is constructed into an altar, 
and the jury, without proof, make him a catholick priest, and guilty 
of the crimes imputed to him by Kane and Sarah Hughson. 
Campbell and his wife, testify to the material facts asserted by Ury, 
he was a grave, sober, honest man. Hildreth, a schoolmaster, 
swears that Ury was a conjurer. The attorney-general and chief 
justice, however, tell the jury that he is a Romish priest, and dilate on 
the errors of the church of Rome, all of which, by implication, are 
charges on Ury. It was acknowledged by the attorney-general, 


that it was not proved that Ury was a Roman catholick ; yet all the 
absurdities of the Church of Rome, and all its enormities, are de- 
clared to the jury, to prejudice them against him. He is hanged 
on the 29th of August, 1741, declaring his innocence, submission 
to death cheerfully, and exhorts sinners to repentance. 

The details, as given by the recorder, his friends and advocates, 
of the persecution, is to us of this day, a most sickening record of 
prejudice and glaring injustice, consummated in torture and murder. 

I will be as concise respecting the negroes as possible, being 
heartily tired of the disgusting subject. 

Quack and Othello were sentenced to be burnt ; but being slaves 
of two of the great men of the town, one the chief justice, interest 
was made to save them, which failed ; but their sentence was 
changed to hanging. Those two, with four others, were hanged 
on the ISth July. In the afternoon of the same day, Harry, the 
negro doctor, was executed. He had been sentenced on the most 
trivial and improbable testimony ; and his " heart was so hardened," 
.says our historian, that he confessed nothing. On the contrary, 
he said that he had been told that he would be hanged or burnt, 
and persisted in declaring, that if he knew of any plot, he would 
coJifess it, to save his soul. 

On the 23d July, a number of whites were fined for keeping dis- 
orderly houses, and entertaining negroes ; and nine negroes dis- 
charged fi-om jail, for want of evidence to convict them. How 
could that be ? 

On the 30th July, four negroes pleaded guilty, and ten are par- 
doned ; but four more are apprehended. 

August 4th : on this day, a Spanish negro ordered to be hanged, 
which was executed the 15th. 

The 31st of August, Corry, Ryan, Kelly, and Coffin, whites, 
were discharged — no one appearing to prosecute. The testimony 
against these men, from the wretches Kane, Burton, and Sarah 
Hughson, v.-as as strong as that against Ury, or any of those 

The 24th of September was set apart for a thanksgiving for the 
escape of the citizens from destruction. The father and four bro- 
thers of Hughson petition to be released from jail, where they had 
been confined for months on the improbable testimony of one of the 
abandoned informers. The court consents io jjordon them! but 
only on condition of leaving the province. 

All these executions and banishments could not quiet the fears 
of the good people of New York. Some negroes, at the Christmas 
holidays, had amused themselves by playing soldiers : this alarmed 
the lieutenant-governour, and the attorney-general sent to the ma- 
gistrates of Queen's county, where this happened ; and the negroes 


were chastised for tliis daring piece of insolence, i. e. whipped at 

the whipping-post, on the;2()ih January, 1742. 
1742 On the 15th February, all the a})prehension3 of the ma- 

gistrates are realized ; live coals of